Red Cross Hotline is On to Help You!

“Along with all of my colleagues, I went through a rather difficult period. Numerous issues needed to be addressed simultaneously and we were instructed to be as effective as possible – no one should be left behind our support”.

Elene Rekhviashvili
Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Coordinator, Hotline Manager
Georgia Red Cross Society

I joined the Georgian Red Cross when the pandemic started. I was the hotline manager at the time and my duty, like other hotline operators, was an immediate online psycho-emotional response to the crisis. Red Cross hotline was on, where people could call and look for solutions.

In fact, the entire Red Cross – in full force – went to the field to respond in a timely and necessary manner to all the challenges faced by our society at the very first phase of the pandemic.

As hotline operators, we were involved in coordination with the governmental and nongovernmental bodies, as well as business organizations to find the best solutions for people, calling us to get social or psychological assistance.

8 operators were working altogether on the Red Cross hotline in the pandemic and we received about 180-200 calls a day.

I remember a lot of emotional calls with really painful facts, but there was one, which I would never forget. A lonely young woman who lived quite far from the district center had not eaten at all for several days. Exhausted by hunger she could hardly speak to us. Remembering the details of what I then heard from that woman on the phone is still very stressful for me. Happily she called the right place. We responded immediately and helped her in the shortest time.

Our regular meetings and discussions among team-members was what helped us to cope with stress. It was an opportunity to share our experiences, emotions, ask for recommendations on difficult cases, exchange helpful and updated information and so on. This kind of meetings and approach helped us a lot.