Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

Q: What is the process to sign up for an appointment as an essential worker?

A:  Sign up for free one-one-one counselling sessions over here.

Q: Why was INDEAR started and who are the INDEAR counselors?

A: Read about the origins of our initiative over here.

Q: What is Psychological First Aid?

A: A humane, supportive and flexible response to a fellow human being who is suffering during or after crises or emergencies, like the current COVID 19 pandemic. PFA is for use during and following situations of extreme stress and assumes most people will respond to events with great resilience. The PFA philosophy is that people will be better equipped to cope with and recover from a crisis if they feel safe, connected to others, calm, hopeful, have access to social, physical and emotional support and feel able to help themselves, as individuals and communities.

Q: Are sessions available by telephone?

A: The session format is up to the provider and frontline worker, but the go-to offering is via Zoom or a video conferencing platform. We are working on identifying phone and text options. 


Q: How do I sign up for a Zoom account and is there a fee?

A: Essential workers can sign up for a free Zoom account here. Providers can also sign up for a free zoom account at the same link, and host calls for up to 40 minutes. 


Q: I am not a mental health professional. How can I help?

A: We welcome help with administrative work, including appointment management, logistics and marketing. Please reach out to to indicate interest and learn more. 


Q: Do you have any marketing or promotional materials we can use to spread the word?

A: Yes! We do and would love help with marketing. Please email to be connected with the right people. Please also consider following our social media handles, linked at the end of this page. 

Questions Asked By Essential Workers

Q: Who qualifies as an essential worker to receive your services?

A: Our definition of frontline workers is broad. We are accepting appointments from anybody who comes into direct physical contact with the public as part of their profession and is feeling stressed or wants to talk. Professions that may fall under this category include but would not be limited to doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, journalists, bankers, police, teachers, volunteers, and crematorium workers. 


Q: How can I reschedule my session if something comes up at the last minute?
A: Please email your assigned counselor. If you need to reschedule before hearing from your counselor, please email us at

Q: How many sessions can I sign up for in a week, or in total?
A: We do not have a session limit, per se. However, we are providing Psychological First Aid and not longer term or formal therapy. As such, we generally will offer 3-5 individual sessions for each essential worker, to keep our support under the PFA umbrella and not begin to veer into therapy. After those 3-5 sessions, you might want to consider joining a group session which functions in the same way, providing the same coping skills, but in a small group setting. We recommend you also keep other helplines and resources in mind, in case they could provide a better fit for what you are looking for, Click here.

Q: Do you have resources/articles to share on the topics of grief and depression?

A: Yes. We understand it’s helpful to process some of these things on your own. If you’d like to read and learn more, follow this link for additional resources, Click here. Please also consider attending our upcoming trainings, or watching recordings of previous trainings. Please contact for more information on the free trainings we have recorded and will keep offering. 

Questions Asked By Volunteer Mental Health Professionals

Q: Do I need to be a licensed psychologist to volunteer to support essential workers?

A: While we do not require our providers to be licensed psychologists, we do require a Masters or PhD in mental health counseling, social work, psychiatry, or a related field. We occasionally make exceptions for qualified practitioners who have significant experience providing other mental health services. Please contact with any questions about qualification or experience requirements. 

Q: What is the expected time commitment if I join INDEAR as a volunteer mental health provider?

A: You can set your own schedule as a provider, but we do ask for a minimum commitment of 1 hour per week. 


Q: What is the timeline for this project?

A: We expect to provide services for the duration of the COVID 19 pandemic and some time after. We are also looking to support our mental health colleagues in India by providing trainings, peer supervision and support. 


Q: My insurance/employer says I’m not licensed to practice out-of-state counseling services.

What’s your advice?

A: We are not providing formal therapy, but rather psychological first-aid in a humanitarian, emergency crisis. Providing PFA involves providing a holding space, stabilization, safety and comfort. This type of service would be no different than if we were providing PFA in person amidst a disaster (flood, fire, hurricane relief etc.) where we may only attend to the person once or twice. We are providing PFA as volunteers, and are providing services in good faith, rather than as formal therapy. 


For ethical reasons we need to be qualified to provide PFA to people in distress and need to feel comfortable in doing so. We encourage you to check with your supervisor and verify specific board and state regulations. None of these statements should be construed as legal advice, and we urge you to find and follow your own comfort level regarding this work. As part of the orientation process, we do provide access to a number of PFA training options, to brush up on or formally learn PFA skills. 


Q: I initially volunteered to offer one-on-one sessions but I’ve learned you offer group sessions. How can I get involved?

A: Please email us at


Q:How do I change my weekly availability?

A: You can change your schedule on a weekly basis. Please refer to the orientation packet and email you received when you were added to the system or log in to the Provider Portal on this website. If you still have any questions, please email so we can help. Technical issues are not totally uncommon with our fledgling system.


Q: Does INDEAR offer CEUs or certificates of recognition to volunteers?

A: We do not have a formal process in place to offer CEUs or certificates of recognition. However, if you are a volunteer for INDEAR, you are welcome to list your experience working with INDEAR on your resume or CV, and we will be happy to attest to your participation.

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