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Greece Sets Up COVID-19 Psychological Help Line

Αssociated Press

(Christoph Soeder/dpa via AP)

ATHENS – People locked into their homes to stem the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus in Greece who are having trouble coping with the isolation can get psychological help on a phone line set up by the government.

The phone number, 10306,  is a joint initiative of Greece’s Health Ministry and the psychiatric clinic of the University of Athens’ Medical School, in collaboration with the ARGO federation of mental health and psycho-social support groups.

Dozens of experts will be available to talk to people feeling anxiety, panic, or low as they can not leave their homes except for critical missions such going to a supermarket, bank, pharmacy, doctor, hospital or other essential businesses, and for brief periods of exercise.

They must have on them their identification card, a form downloaded from the Internet or sent to their cell phones or the reason and time written on a piece of paper to present to police if asked.

The line offers psychological support on a 24-hour basis with a separate service for  psychiatric support, between 8 a.m- 8 p.m. for those with mental illnesses. Many people are alone in their homes in a lockdown that began March 23 and is due to last at least until April 27, keeping them even further confined.