As more and more people
are forced to stay at home in self‐isolation to prevent the further flow of the
pathogen at the societal level, governments must take the necessary measures to
provide mental health support as prescribed by the experts. Professor Tiago
Correia highlighted in his editorial as the health systems worldwide are
assembling exclusively to fight the COVID‐19 outbreak, which can drastically
affect the management of other diseases including mental health, which usually
exacerbates during the pandemic. The
psychological state of an individual that contributes toward the community
health varies from person‐to‐person and depends on his background and
professional and social standings.
Quarantine and self‐isolation can most likely cause a negative impact on one’s mental health. A review published in The Lancet said that the separation from loved ones, loss of freedom, boredom, and uncertainty can cause a deterioration in an individual’s mental health status. To overcome this, measures at the individual and societal levels are required. Under the current global situation, both children and adults are experiencing a mix of emotions. They can be placed in a situation or an environment that may be new and can be potentially damaging to their health.
Children, away from their school, friends, and colleagues, staying at home can have many questions about the outbreak and they look toward their parents or caregivers to get the answer. Not all children and parents respond to stress in the same way. Kids can experience anxiety, distress, social isolation, and an abusive environment that can have short‐ or long‐term effects on their mental health. Some common changes in children’s behavior can be :
· Excessive crying and annoying behavior
· Increased sadness, depression, or worry
· Difficulties with concentration and attention
· Changes in, or avoiding, activities that they enjoyed in the past
· Unexpected headaches and pain throughout their bodies
· Changes in eating habits
To help offset negative behaviors, requires parents to remain calm, deal with the situation wisely, and answer all of the child’s questions to the best of their abilities. Parents can take some time to talk to their children about the COVID‐19 outbreak and share some positive facts, figures, and information. Parents can help to reassure them that they are safe at home and encourage them to engage in some healthy activities including indoor sports and some physical and mental exercises. Parents can also develop a home schedule that can help their children to keep up with their studies. Parents should show less stress or anxiety at their home as children perceive and feel negative energy from their parents. The involvement of parents in healthy activities with their children can help to reduce stress and anxiety and bring relief to the overall situation.
Doctors, nurses, and paramedics working as a front‐line force to fight the COVID‐19 outbreak may be more susceptible to develop mental health symptoms. Fear of catching a disease, long working hours, unavailability of protective gear and supplies, patient load, unavailability of effective COVID‐19 medication, death of their colleagues after exposure to COVID‐19, social distancing and isolation from their family and friends, and the dire situation of their patients may take a negative toll of the mental health of health workers. The working efficiency of health professionals may decrease gradually as the pandemic prevails. Health workers should take short breaks between their working hours and deal with the situation calmly and in a relaxed manner.
What should we keep in mind :
· Understanding the effects of the COVID‐19 outbreak on the mental health of various populations are as important as understanding its clinical features, transmission patterns, and management.
· Spending time with family members including children and elderly people, involvement in different healthy exercises and sports activities, following a schedule/routine, and taking a break from traditional and social media can all help to overcome mental health issues.
· Public awareness campaigns focusing on the maintenance of mental health in the prevailing situation are urgently needed.
· STAY STRONG THIS SHALL TO PASS ! :))