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Mental Health Amidst Covid-19

  May 29, 2020
 

As the pandemic wears on, the urge for normalcy to return continues to weigh heavily on our minds. The stream of disheartening COVID-19 news updates on our screens every day has provided a perfect breeding ground for distress which can be detrimental.

Social distancing measures were implemented as one of the most effective ways to help curb the spread of Coronavirus, but even with all the self-isolating, it is crucial to still reach out to people and to connect. This public health crisis has continued to broaden the gap in mental healthcare systems. 

May is world mental awareness month and the topic of mental health has never been more relevant than it is now. Experts have revealed that in the latter months we will be tackling a psychological war because the world is scrambling to build tents and medical facilities to house Covid-19 patients and forgetting to also pitch tents for psychological help.

People who are quarantined are very likely to develop a wide range of symptoms of psychological stress and disorder including low moods, insomnia, stress, anxiety, anger, irritability, emotional exhaustion, depression, and even result in domestic violence.

These stressful situations could have been fueled by fear of contracting Coronavirus, fear of losing loved ones, financial hardship and salary cuts, losing jobs and restricted social interactions and norms; not forgetting the people with underlying psychological disorders who are also having tough times.

To address psychological care institutions could come up with the following measures:   

  1. Make sure self-help interventions are in place that can address the needs of the large affected population.
  2. Educate people about the expected psychological impact and reactions to trauma and make them understand that a psychological reaction is normal.
  3. Launch a specific website to address psychological issues.
  4. Make sure that people with acute issues can find the help that they need

How Can You Improve Your Mental Health?

  1. Take screen breaks, get away from it all, the news and social media. Even if we are all at home now and constantly surfing through the internet as we work.
  2. Stay connected with family and friends. This time provides a good opportunity to work on relationships: family and friends.
  3. Get active, take walks, meditate, exercise, learn new skills.
  4. Help those families that are currently struggling to make ends meet as many people have lost their jobs.
  5. Be positive.

This is a global pandemic and millions of people are sharing the same experiences. It is important that we learn to cope with the situation keeping in mind it will not last forever. Amidst the challenges, it is important to keep hope alive.

 

Article by Maureen Bundi

 

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