Lightning a candle in the dark when life gets hard

Two psychologists explain how they help young people with personal struggles.

Related: Glossary I Story I Podcast
Psychologists Marianna Heřmánková and Dorota Balalová, and James Thomson at Spectator College discussion.Psychologists Marianna Heřmánková and Dorota Balalová, and James Thomson at Spectator College discussion. (Source: Ivana Adžić)

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Káčko is a contact point for people who find themselves in crisis, and in need of psychological help. It is the bridge that connects the helplines IPč, Crisis Helpline, and Dobrá Linka, and which offers personal psychological help that people can rely on. It is also a place where visitors can come if they want to talk to trained psychologists, anonymously and free of charge. Káčko can also be defined as a place where people can temporarily find help while waiting to see clinical experts and doctors. For some, it can be a space to solve their current mental and life crises, or a stop on the way to finding help.

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“Every day we are in touch with people in need, with stories that are very hard, maybe tragic, but we try to light a candle in the dark, to be there and give a little bit of hope to each person. Every situation has a solution.” say the psychologists.

Marianna Heřmánková and Dorota Balalová talked to us about the reasons why young people choose this field, and what kind of opportunities IPč brings for students, how people can volunteer, and after school start working for the organisation. Being the biggest cheerleader for people who are struggling, helping them, and getting positive feedback from them makes this a special profession. Because of the long waiting lists for specialists, it helps to have somebody to fill the gap, especially for people who find themselves in crisis, and struggling to share their thoughts and emotions with their family, friends and partners.

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IPčko even opened a crisis helpline for Ukrainian people last year, right after the war in Ukraine started, in response to the influx of Ukrainian refugees, reflecting the organisation’s level of professionalism.

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