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Pacifica Graduate Institute alumni offering free counseling for COVID-19 coping

Blake DeVine/KEYT
To assist with mental health issues caused by COVID-19, Pacific Graduate Institute alumni are volunteering for a call-in CareLine.

CARPINTERIA, Calif. — With so much stress and uncertainty caused by the coronavirus crisis, many are struggling with mental health. 

"We're just psychologically not prepared for this,” Pacifica Graduate Institute president Joseph Cambray said. “There's a lot of consequences and people are scrambling."

"We close, we open and we're reopening again,” Pacifica Graduate Institute Alumni Association board of directors president Harry Grammer said. “Folks are on a bit of a rollercoaster right now with a lot of uncertainty.

To help those suffering from anxiety, depression and grief caused by COVID-19, a group of alumni from Pacifica Graduate Institute are offering a national call-in CareLine.

This 24/7 service is free for anyone to speak with either a clinical psychologist or licensed therapist who graduated from PGI.

"Therapist are called the wounded healers,” CareLine counselor Tom Lyon said. “We are on-call, doing this out of the goodness of our hearts."

"If they need support, a shoulder to lean on, a bit of comfort during these times, we're there to support in that way,” Grammer said. 

As part of their followup, some callers are sent a ‘Care Box’ from the free service, which helps those coping with grief and loss.

"It's a helpful tool to do some type of ritual,” Lyon said. “That ritual is for remembrance."

On some days, they’re receiving up to 18 calls during all hours of the day.

However, that isn’t stopping these proud PGI alumni from volunteering their time to connect with those in need. 

"You just don't get on to listen to things,” Lyon concluded. “You do it for someone else, you do it because we care."

If you wish to speak with someone from PGIAA’s CareLine, call 805-679-6163. For information, visit their website

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Blake DeVine

Blake DeVine is a multimedia journalist and sports anchor at NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Blake, click here.

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