Importance Of Mental Health Response In Time Of Covid -19

  • A suspected Coronavirus patient jumped from Safdarjung hospital.
  • 26 March: Daniela Trezzi , Italian Nurse committed suicide after testing positive for corona virus.
  • 28 March: Thomas Schaefer, finance minister,Hesse state,Germany committed suicide.

When most of the world is under lockdown engulfed by Covid-19 pandemic, overburdened with the people affected and the fatalities, the above three Covid-19 related deaths in different parts of the world are not due to the coronavirus infection but the psycho-socio economic impact of it.

Amidst this global crisis, Covid-19 has become a part of our everyday life, and has occupied the deepest corners of our minds. The man from Delhi with a travel history and mild symptoms was brought for testing, and was quarantined. He might have taken this step under the pressure of social stigma attached to it, or the fear of unknown. However, his test came negative. Daniela, a burnt out front line worker after the massive outbreak in Italy, was home recovering from Covid-19. She feared she might have transmitted the disease accidentally to other patients. She took her life in that one weak moment. Mr. Schaefer who was deeply worried with the state of economy shaping up in Germany left behind everyone in shock, disbelief and grief raising many other questions.

Covid-19 pandemic is not just a medical emergency. It has disrupted the lives of people on many levels. No one knows what actually we are dealing with, the uncertainty of when and how it all will end. Only way of containing the exponential growth of the virus are physical distancing and self-isolation which may lead to a sense of inadequacy, frustration and anxiety.

Fake news, misinformation or unsolicited information peddled through social media too adds up to the stress stigma and hysteria. Overdose of information, too, at times is fatal for mental health. Only verified info from official sources should be paid heed to. You can rely on these authentic sources:

A burnt out frontline defence of health professionals who are dealing with inadequate medical supplies, the healthcare system in many countries are collapsing as the number of patients are invariably increasing. The focus generally is off the mental health and that’s when such incidences occur.

The economic impact of the pandemic is being seen as one of the biggest global crisis ever. Many small industries will not even survive few days into lockdown. There would be many job cuts during as well as post the lockdown. People will be worried how to pay their bills. We need to stand in solidarity with each other. We need to tell our loved ones and everyone around us that you are not alone. It is tough, but this too shall pass. It is going to be crucial for all the stakeholders in the society to stand by each other.

With the change in daily lives during lockdown, people in our vicinity falling sick of the infection, working remotely, online school sessions, cooped inside house , staying alone, old parents staying away etc and at times social/physical distancing leads to emotional distance as well a small call/video call to our loved ones who are away keeps us going. Indian family system works as a strong support system at such times. But still there are time people want/need to talk to an expert. For the impact it is going to have on us WHO has emphasised on the importance of mental health response to the growing Covid-19 situation.

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A recent survey, conducted by the Indian Psychiatry Society, has noticed a 20% rise in mental illness cases after corona virus outbreak in India. Govt. of India. Various state govts. as well as NGOs have come forward and addressed the issue so it can be tackled meticulously. Few patients who have recovered too emphasise the important of counselling sessions. NIMHANS is providing a 24/7counselling sessions to the people directly or indirectly affected by COVID-19  on helpline no – 08046110007

Govt. of Maharashtra, BMC have come up with a helpline to support in the times of corona on helpline no : 1800-120-820050.

With all the precautions being taken by people around the world and in India to break the chain, the issue of Mental Health during Covid -19 too should be prudently addressed worldwide.

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