Emotional health and well-being are paramount in leading a productive and meaningful life in our society. An important part of our aftercare is therefore offering psychological care to both children and parents.
We have a local psychologist working for us once a week at our office in San Gaspar. She helps our patients with their low self-esteem through individual and group therapy sessions. During these sessions, we build lasting relationships that are geared towards cultivating positive attitudes and helping children and parents become more accepting, confident and resilient in their unique journey. We offer hope that children born with cleft lip and palate can have bright futures.
Our psychologist is also present during surgery missions to guide the parents. This is especially important to the moms. For them, emotions often run high during a surgery mission. They are often accused by their family and neighbors of begin of influence on the birth of a baby with cleft lip and/or palate. For example, because they cheated on their husband or looked into the eclipse. Something that is of course not true, but believed in due to the lack of knowledge in remote and poor areas.
For $450 a month our psychologist helps around 10-15 young adults every week and accompanies around 40 families during each surgery mission.
COVID-19 UPDATE: Because it is not possible for our young adults and parents to visit the office and because it is not responsible to organise one-on-one sessions in person, we are currently providing psychological counseling via WhatsApp. It is still very important that our young adults and mothers have someone to talk to, especially in this time of uncertainty, where things are just a little bit different than usual. In this case, we provide the families with an internet card, with which they can contact our psychologist online. We have also set up a Facebook group for young adults with cleft lip and palate in Guatemala, where we occasionally interact with them to keep updated on how they are doing. For more current information about COVID-19 and Tess Unlimited, please visit our Facebookpage or sign up for our newsletter (on the bottom of the homepage).