COVID-19: Mental Health Crisis Ahead

COVID-19: Mental Health Crisis Ahead

Although by now the verified number of people affected worldwide by the COVID-19 pandemic is 4.3 millions, the actual numbers of people effected either due to being infected by the virus or in terms of economy or mental health can’t be predicted. Experts warn of a mental health crisis after when the pandemic is controlled. This doesn’t suggest that the current situation is good but by now the cases of mental health are going unnoticed.

The Canadian Mental Health Association for Waterloo-Wellington warned the same. “There’s not a single person that their life hasn’t been disrupted. They are juggling so many more things now like working at home, having their kids at home or caring for their aging parents, worrying about your own health, worrying about the health of your own family,” said Helen Fishburn, Executive Director, CMHA Waterloo-Wellington.

Also Read: Coronavirus May Not Spare Children: Study

She also raised concerns regarding domestic violence and child abuse amid the isolation setups. “We know there are people out there quietly suffering with the doors closed and everybody in their own homes. We can’t reach into those folks right now and that’s the real challenge for us and we have a lot of worry about those homes that are under a particular amount of stress.”

Estimates show that over 70% of the people are feeling lack of any family life or social connections. The situation may give rise to rates of drug uses and even suicides. And the situation is same worldwide.

As based on the previous experiences of disasters, researchers warned that such issues give rise to rates of drug users and even increases the rates of suicides. The need for preparation to combat the situation before the pandemic is overcome can’t be neglected.

A report, recently published by WellBeing Trust, showed that if precautionary measures are not taken, suicidal deaths may increase by 75,000 during the ongoing crisis in US only. It is such an alarming number that the deaths of the people directly infected by the virus is only a few thousand more than the expected number of cases of fatalities due to mental health crisis.

“Undeniably, policymakers must place a large focus on mitigating the effects of COVID,” says Benjamin F. Miller, chief strategy officer of the Well Being Trust. “However, if the country continues to ignore the collateral damage — specifically our nation’s mental health — we will not come out of this stronger.”

Some psychologists are hopeful that if right measures are taken now, the risks of the threat can be reduced. However, recent studies even show a fall in number of visits to the primary care centers in almost every department. This suggests that consulting psychologists and getting therapy sessions may not be easier enough.

“The normal avenues of help aren’t necessarily there,” says Dese’Rae Stage, a Philadelphia write and suicide-prevention activist. “It’s already hard to find a therapist who does sliding scale payments or takes insurance, but the pandemic has made it even harder to find one” she adds.

Also Read: COVID-19: AfterShocks

Following are a few recommendations to cope with the crisis at personal level:

Virtual Meetings:

Since it is not possible to go out of homes, for a trip to meet friends and family amid the pandemic, these meetings may be arranged through digital communications such as using skype, zoom etc. This will help in reducing the pain and suffering caused by the ongoing situation.

Medications:

The dosage and timings of the medications especially those taken regularly, must be adequate. It is recommended to discuss the medication with a practicing physician. Again, through an online session.

Therapy Sessions:

Psychologists and psychologists are available to be consulted through the web. As the regular clinics are out of service, psych experts are accessible for video consultation. Taking therapy sessions on a video call is the best option in case you feel despair.

Hide Away Any Could-be Harmful Elements:

As a precaution for not falling to the worst, put any of the weapons or high-powered sleep pills at some safe place. This will not let you take any self-harming steps in case you suffer an instantaneous emotion of despair.

 

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