More than 6.5 million people in India died of Covid and within India, Uttar Pradesh was one of the hardest-hit states. A unique initiative is delivering the support needed by Covid orphans there. Since July 2021, the Cash + Trauma-informed Psychosocial Support program run by Uttar Pradesh’s Department of Women and Child Development with UNICEF and Mind Piper, a Delhi-based mental health organization, has counseled and financially supported nearly 13,000 poor Covid orphans. Each child receives a monthly stipend of 4,000 rupees (about $50) and counselors make sure guardians use those funds for the children. Counselors use a trauma-grief scale to tailor their interventions, and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavior Therapy to help children who are overcome by grief. Tamanna Edwards of Mind Piper, who trains social workers and counselors in trauma-informed care and needs-based therapeutic interventions, hopes the program will be replicated by other Indian states.

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