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Barbados launches Helpline App for children

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Barbados launches Helpline App for children
Acting Director of the Child Care Board, Colin St Hill. (FILE)

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Closures, frequent testing and strict adherence to the COVID-19 protocols are the tried and true measures the Child Care Board will be maintaining into 2022.

Acting Director of the child protection agency, Colin St Hill, said it was a challenging time for staff but was even harder for children in their care, who felt isolated and deprived of regular activities.

Speaking today during the virtual launch of the MyChild Helpline App which is now available in Barbados, Antigua & Barbuda, Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Hill said the 52-year-old organisation was forced to adjust its operations because of the pandemic.

“They cannot go out and play as normal, they have to social distance from some of their family members and friends, so it really isn’t business as usual for the children,” he explained.

He added that the ‘new normal’ has taken a toll on parents, as well with many facing their own personal struggles brought on by the pandemic. The acting director said in light of these challenges, the MyChild Helpline App was timely.

“I must commend UNICEF for coming up with this idea to have this App, and what I’ve seen so far, the App is supposed to be a safe space for children to go,” he said.

The App was developed as an innovative way to provide remote mental health and psychosocial support to children and their families.

The MyChild Helpline App is available from Google Play and the App Store. (PR)

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