Pandemic taking a tollon mental health: expert


Lockdown for several months, loss of jobs and uncertainty in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic has created a sense of insecurity among the people. Apart from the monetary loss, the fear of contracting the infection, the impact on gloobal economy and career prospects of students remain the worrying factor.

The ongoing National Mental Health Week and the World Mental Health Day-2020 shceduled to beobserved on October 10 assume significance against this backdrop.

โ€œThe pandemic has affected all. The world is experiencing global health emergency due to COVID-19, which has also an impact on mental health. Measures such as social distancing and restrictions on public movement, isolation and uncertainty are causing anxiety, fear and emotional stress in people,โ€ says Sudha Rani, Superintendent of Government Hospital for Mental Care.

World Mental Health Day

The theme for the World Mental Health Day-2020 decided by World Federation for Mental Health is โ€œMental Health for all – Greater investment, greater access to everyone and everywhereโ€. Studies conducted by the WHO point out that there has been an increase in mental health issues across the globe. Around 450 million people are suffering from various mental disorders. Every year, one adult in every four and one child in every 10 are suffering from mental health issues, thus affecting millions of lives.

These mental health issues affect the capability of individuals to cope up with their daily living, way of sustaining relationships and working ability. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among youths in the age group of 15 to 29 years. One person is dying by suicide in every 40 seconds.

Heathcare services

โ€œOnly 15% to 20% of people with mental illness are able to get treatment and this gap can be attributed to poverty, poor awareness and social stigma. Awareness and increasing the access to meantal healthcare are the needs of the hour. Given the pandemic situation, no one should be denied of mental healthcare,โ€ says Dr. Radha Rani, who is also a professor of psychiatry.

The common mental health problems are anxiety, depression, phobias, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. One can maintain a good mental health by adopting measures sich as giving time for self, participating in recreational activities, exercise, yoga and meditation, good diet and sleep and maintaining good relationships with family and friends, she explains.

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