New website focuses on mental health during the corona crisis

30/03/2020

The coronavirus crisis is making us feel uneasy. It’s understandable, because we live on top of one another, we’re experiencing uncertainty and we feel powerless. To make sure everyone can continue functioning in their day-to-day life, several organizations - among which Leuven-based stakeholders - offer a first-line support framework in the form of a website: everyoneok.be. The website was designed by Leuven MindGate member Statik, and the creative process was guided by another Leuven MindGate member: Shaved Monkey.

Covid-19 has washed over us like a tsunami. When an unexpected, severe and unpredictable situation like this hits us, we go into a state of high alert. This alertness serves a purpose, because it allows us to get ourselves to safety.

However, if this state of high alert continues for an extended period of time, and if more and more unexpected aspects are piled on, it can provoke strong emotional reactions. These reactions can substantially disrupt our day-to-day lives, during the threat but also after it’s disappeared.

Luckily, we can take action to anticipate this. By acting now, we can make sure we are able to continue functioning, both today and in a month’s time. To help us guide people through these murky waters, we decided to develop this online intervention.

The intervention was built based on scientific techniques that are proven to be effective in the processing of trauma. Eye movements are used as a means to try and reduce emotional responses, so that the body has the opportunity to adjust to the new reality. Elke Van Hoof, who set up this website, is an expert in the field of trauma.

You try to get some exercise, stay in touch with friends, stick to a daily schedule… And still something feels off. You’re restless. You’re having a tough time sleeping. It feels like the wave of the corona crisis is drowning you. (Or you’re worried that a family member is feeling like that.) These are all totally normal reactions to an unusual situation.

Through the intervention on the website you can break through these feelings using techniques from the field of trauma therapy. The intervention consists of a video that will guide you through a step-by-step plan and a number of exercises. You can go through the step-by-step plan in about 45 minutes – either alone or with your housemates.

This online intervention was created by clinical psychologist Elke Van Hoof (BE) and is founded on the internationally recognised R-TEP protocol (Recent Traumatic Episode Protocol) and G-TEP protocol (Group Traumatic Episode Protocol). These protocols are used to deal with acute stress in crisis situations and to improve mental resilience. Psychologists have successfully used the protocol many times in emergency situations. Elke Van Hoof was inspired by the work of Elan Shapiro (US). The content of this protocol is based on the current coronavirus crisis.


For more info, visit the website Everyone OK