Matteo Mangiagalli has been working as a psychologist with Soleterre Onlus since 2019, at the Policlinico San Matteo Hospital, in Pavia Italy.
In onerous circumstances with patients passing away every day, Matteo provides psychological support to doctors, healthcare operators, COVID patients & their families. He also acts as a bridge between patients and families, assisting with video calls & delivering messages.
Matteo says, “My role is to be with the patients in their hardship. It provides a much-needed human connection in a situation that is otherwise dehumanizing, and where people are denied of their primary need for social contact. It is important to make them feel less lonely & isolated to avoid further complications like depression, lower immunity, inflammation etc.
When patients recover, it gives me satisfaction. I SEE HOPE & POSSIBILITY TILL THE VERY LAST BREATH. ?
Unfortunately, not all stories have a happy ending. I HAVE LEARNT TO ACCEPT THAT SOMETIMES THERE IS VERY LITTLE I CAN DO. ?
I HAVE UNDERSTOOD THAT PAIN & SUFFERING ARE AS MUCH AS A REALITY OF LIFE, AS PLEASURE & WELL-BEING. ? Often, we are afraid of suffering but to overcome adversity we have to find our way through it.
PATIENTS WHO HAVE A SENSE OF PURPOSE, FAITH IN THEMSELVES & POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS, ARE MOTIVATED TO RECOVER & STAND A MUCH BETTER CHANCE. ?
Even doctors are recognizing the impact of good mental health and positive mindset in treatment.”
Recently, Matteo was happy to participate in a project for children returning to school. Being away from school, friends, sports and recreational activities has had a significant psychological & emotional impact on children.
To enable a smooth transition back to school, Soleterre Onlus offered psychological assistance, training and support to teachers, students and families. At the end of the project, children exchanged greetings of gratitude and hope for the future.
250 group psychological sessions have been carried out since September 2020, to assist 1,400 students, 168 parents and 288 teachers.
? What life lessons have you learnt during COVID 19?
Photo credit Marghertita Dametti, Special thanks to Federica Villa