The pandemic did not just present a threat to the world’s health and safety but also threatened its economy. When the coronavirus made its way worldwide, it halted many businesses. It nearly decimated several industries that relied mainly on the interaction of people with one another. Some of the hardest-hit industries included airlines, travel, leisure, gaming, oil & gas drilling, food and accommodation, construction, manufacturing, and support.
The possibility of infection forced many industries to encourage remote working, while others resorted to retrenchments and even closures to prevent further losses. The majority of countries implemented mandatory lockdowns to prevent the spread of Covid-19, requiring individuals and their families to shelter in place. Although this was designed to protect everyone, it also led to several issues.
The loss of income coupled with the isolation that lockdowns brought has impacted individuals’ mental and emotional health, particularly those already reeling from the threat of the pandemic. In the U.S., about 40% of adults reported symptoms associated with depressive or anxiety disorder. Many Americans reported difficulty sleeping, worsening chronic health conditions due to stress, and increased alcohol consumption. They also reported feeling lonely, scared, and secluded as a result.
In early 2021, The Everest Foundation donated $55,000 to Project Angel Food to support one of its initiatives, The Telephone Angels Program. Project Angel Food is an organization based in Los Angeles that provides meals to individuals suffering from critical illnesses. The meals are customized to the medical needs of these individuals to ensure that their nutritional needs are met. Project Angel Food began the pilot program for Telephone Angels in April 2020.
Knowing that mental and emotional health is as critical as physical health, Project Angel Food came up with a way to reach out to individuals who reported feeling alone and isolated. This was the beginning of the Telephone Angels program, which now provides emotional support to affected individuals.
How the Telephone Angels Program Can Help You
The Telephone Angels program identifies clients who express a need for emotional support. These clients are then paired with program volunteers who communicate with them through phone calls every week or twice a week. These phone calls double as social interactions and well-being checks, ensuring that the volunteers reach out to anxious, worried, or lonely clients.
The individuals who volunteer for the Telephone Angels program are not medical professionals. Instead, they are provided with support, training, and guidance by the Angel Food organization to offer much-needed friendship and company, through phone calls.
The volunteers themselves do not offer counseling or medical advice. Instead, they chat with their clients to allow them to maintain human interaction, especially during times when the clients feel down. As a result of the Telephone Angels Program, most clients reported improving their moods.
To ensure that the program endures and has the resources it needs to continue recruiting and training volunteers, The Everest Foundation, headed by Dr. Michael Everest, decided to lend a helping hand. The Everest Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting health and well-being through medical research.
Dr. Michael Everest founded the Everest Foundation in honor of his late father, Dr. Edwin Everest. His goal was to create an organization that provided opportunities for medical professionals to advance medicine through careful and ethical research and to assist individuals in achieving their best life through healthy solutions.
Since its inception, The Everest Foundation has supported medical schools, medical residency programs, doctoral fellows, and graduate education programs. The heart of the foundation, however, is in research. It is this field that Dr. Michael Everest believes can unlock better opportunities to promote and maintain the health and well-being of Americans and, ultimately, the world.
The Everest Foundation does not stop at funding its programs, however. It has supported organizations and groups whose goals and missions The Everest Foundation also believes in. He recently donated $25,000 to another organization, Caring for Caregivers, and $10,000 to the Helping India Breathe program. The latter is an initiative that provides medically essential tools and equipment to Indian nationals, including oxygen and PPEs.
After learning about Project Angel Food’s Telephone Angel program, Dr. Michael Everest and his wife Agata Everest, who chairs the foundation, decided to provide support.
The Everest Foundation applauds the program’s holistic approach to achieving health by promoting mental well-being and physical health. Although this recent initiative is being implemented only on a state level, the Everest Foundation hopes its success can be replicated nationally and, later, globally.
Do You Need Help?
There is no question how severely the pandemic has affected everyone. If you or someone you know has been suffering from the effects of isolation due to lockdowns and problems with employment, seek help. Stress, worry, and anxiety are natural responses when things do not seem to work as they should.
In partnership with the Angel Food Program, The Everest Foundation wants you to know that you can reach out to someone who can offer you much-needed emotional support. If only for a minute or an hour, knowing that someone is willing to listen and cares can make a difference. Talk to someone today.