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The Persistent Installation of Hope

man and woman walking with masks on.
Man and Woman walking with masks on. (photo:

If you or someone you know is an essential, frontline worker in need of therapy, visit

When tragedies happen on a large scale, societies experience what is known as a “collective trauma,” where many people share a similar emotional response. These shared traumas often cause major shifts in how societies function, but one way towards healing is by coming together. With the coronavirus pandemic, however, our shared experience is happening while the world is physically apart.   

So, how do we cope with these feelings and collectively work toward healing? 

We spoke with Deb Del Vecchio-Scully, a trauma therapist who has helped people through other recent tragic events including 9/11 and the Sandy Hook shooting. Through practicing the “persistent and consistent installation of hope,” Del Vecchio-Scully shares coping tools and offers guidance on managing the collective stress of COVID-19.

Del Vecchio-Scully also stressed the importance of breaking down the stigma around mental health, and encouraged us to think of mental health the same way we would our physical health. By reframing the conversation of mental health as “brain health,” it may encourage people to get help if they’re experiencing feelings of anxiety, depression or loneliness. 

If you’re interested in reading more about ways to cope with your feelings right now, has a great list of tips and tools for you to try as well. 

Thank You Suzanne!

We received a generous donation last week from VPM member, Suzanne Franke. We’re so thankful for the contribution to this podcast - it means we’ll be able to continue finding the helpers around the world and sharing their stories with you. Thanks for being a helper, Suzanne!

Get in Touch

Have you seen examples of people spreading hope? Share your stories and questions with us at [email protected]. We’ll be back next Tuesday with another episode focused on food; we’ll talk about who’s helping to grow, pack, deliver, and make food -- and the ethics of it all.

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