Mental health services are being disrupted or halted in 93% of countries worldwide. The World Health Organization released their new survey, which is the first global data showing how devastating COVID-19 has been to mental health service access around the world and they underscore an urgent need for increased funding as demand continues to increase.
Is the coronavirus pandemic affecting our mental health?
It is not surprising to know that in our current situation, coronavirus and mental health are significantly correlated to each other. The pandemic has caused various mental health issues that have resulted in substantial levels of worry, anxiety, and fear.
For example, mental health issues in Singapore have been observed to have a significant increase amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, more and more Singaporeans are now thinking that the current situation is a good opportunity to be fully aware of the Coronavirus and its effect on humanity.
All over the world, the pandemic has brought significant impact to everyone’s life in a way no one has ever imagined before. Thus, it is of utmost importance to be fully aware of the negative effect of the pandemic in terms of COVID mental health.
Who is at Risk for Mental Illness in the Event of a Pandemic?
Unknown to many people, COVID and mental health have been walking hand in hand since the pandemic outbreak. It has affected millions of lives across the globe. And this phenomenon has led to long-term mental health consequences for both children and teens, elders and people with disabilities, health workers, and has also severely impacted the mental health of students.
Every age group is at risk of being infected by COVID-19. However, there are some groups like children, teens, elders, people with disabilities, health workers, and students who are more susceptible than any other categories.
- Children and teens - are prone to suffer long-term effects on their mental health. Special attention should be given to them since they are in their critical period of development. Furthermore, special care should be provided to them to enhance their mental health.
- Elders - elders face an extreme risk of getting severe illness if they contract COVID-19. This is a direct result of the physiological changes that come along with aging. Aside from aging, older people tend to have underlying health conditions. In particular, elders are highly likely to develop high rates of anxiety and stress.
- People with disabilities - People with disabilities are not more likely to develop the disease. However, in terms of psychological impact, this group of people tends to develop mental health issues since they have less access to supportive social networks.
- Health workers - one such unaddressed category is the mental health during COVID-19 of health workers. Despite being the crisis management personnel, health care workers are not immune to the psychological impact of COVID-19. Aside from having a greater risk of being affected by the disease because they are directly involved in handling COVID-19 patients, adverse psychological consequences are likely to develop among health workers. The reasons range from inadequate PPEs or personal protective equipment, excessive working hours, and the feeling of insufficient support from the government or other concerned agencies.
- Students - students are facing concerns in mental health during COVID-19. Creating the necessary steps to support students is crucial during this very challenging time, regardless if they are learning in physical classrooms or virtually. The issue about the emotional, social, and mental health needs of students should be addressed seriously to prevent further psychological toll among the younger generation.
How to cope with stress during the 2019-nCov outbreak
No one can deny the fact that COVID-19 has drastically impacted our lives. Many people are facing various challenges that can be overwhelming and stressful. Although it is normal to feel anxiety, grief, worry, and stress during this pandemic, it is best to be aware of the different ways on how to help each other manage stress during the COVID-19 outbreak.
There are healthy and easy ways to cope with stress. They include:
- Take good care of your body - there are various ways to take care of your body - spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional.
- meditate, do some stretching, or take deep breaths.
- eat healthy and well-balanced meals.
- avoid excessive substances such as alcohol and tobacco.
- get a COVID-19 vaccine.
- Take time to relax - do some activities that you would truly enjoy.
- Connect with your families and friends - try to discuss your feelings and concerns with your loved ones.
There is no better way than taking care of yourself in times of pandemics. This will also prepare you to take care of others. And don’t forget that in this time of social distancing, it is of greatest importance to stay connected with your family and friends. It will not only help you cope with the feeling of being isolated, but it will also help you to revive sound mental health.