Preventing the Pandemic of Mental Illness

depression covid

(Kristina Tripkovic, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Anfal Arshad, currently a 4 th year medical student at Allama Iqbal Medical College Lahore in Pakistan. He is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


The entire World is on a pause right now, which means students cannot go to their educational institutions, many adults cannot go to their jobs, and all outdoor events are on hold with no clear sight as to when the whole situation will become normal. All of this can have drastic effects on the economic and social fronts but also on mental health, which can happen on a massive scale. In order to prevent the mental health pandemic, we need to take some measures and thankfully there are many things we can do.

First of all, we need to acknowledge our feelings; these are unusual times and it’s okay to feel anxious and overwhelmed. It’s not possible to go out of our homes these days but what we can do in our homes is still in our control. We need to let go of things which are not in our control and try to build up a routine which is somewhat familiar and in our hands. The plethora of news articles, some of which are also fake, circulating on social media these days can increase stress and we need to limit our intake, and only see the information from authentic resources like W.H.O.

Some people may feel like they need to study or work extensively all day during these self-isolation times, and end up scrolling through social media all day and feel worse at the end of the day by seeing many people’s post about doing different kinds of stuff. We need to realize that these are not the work/exam related holidays and everyone has different coping mechanisms. It’s ok to study and work; the good way to do that would be to designate a separate space for work related things and do that for some time of the day and take regular breaks in between.

Staying in the same clothes all day & night could feel monotonous after some days, what we can do about that is wake up and change into different clothes every day we get up and completing the self-given tasks for the day, change back into comfortable clothes. This would give us a sense of control and make us feel better.

Picking up our favorite hobbies and TV shows back again would also be beneficial to us. We also need to remember that we are doing social distancing but this does not have to be social isolation, so call your friends up and have a chat, and have online book or movie discussions. And last but not the least, many hospital settings around the world have opened up free telemedicine and psychiatric help centers, which can be accessed 24/7.

This is not the first pandemic ever faced by humanity, nor will it be the last, but fortunately we now live in a time where the focus on mental health is better than ever and with appropriate strategies and asking for help, we can lessen the burden of mental health issues.

About the author

Anfal Arshad is currently a 4 th year medical student at Allama Iqbal Medical College Lahore in Pakistan. He is a part of IFMSA since 2017 and believes Mental Health issues are one of the biggest problems in 21st century and one of the best ways to tackle these issues is through awareness amongst general public. For the past four years, he has been a part of different public health related activities.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

EU and China to do more in common if the global scene gets worse

Click and Download: your app is ready to help you save lives

WHO reports ‘very strong progress’ in battling DR Congo Ebola outbreak

New Eurobarometer survey shows: The majority of Europeans think the EU should propose additional measures to address air quality problems

Public Health equality in a trench

10 ways cities are tackling the global affordable housing crisis

Germany tries to save Europe from war between Ukraine and Russia

Long-term EU budget: It is not possible to do more with less, say MEPs

UN chief saddened at news of death of former US President George H.W. Bush

End discrimination against women and children affected by leprosy

Drought in southern Africa: EU releases over €22 million in humanitarian aid

These tech start-ups are changing what it means to farm

Attack on Saudi facilities risks dragging Yemen into ‘regional conflagration’: UN Envoy

Celebrating the Customs Union: the world’s largest trading bloc turns 50

How to outsmart bias when you’re recruiting

Primary Healthcare vs Specialization Careers, how to promote PHC to the Young Health Workforce?

Haitian Foreign Minister calls for development reboot to close ‘striking gap’ between promises and action on ending poverty

This is how drones and other ‘tradetech’ are transforming international trade

European Democracy Action Plan: making EU democracies stronger

Why we need a blockchain bill of rights

Prospect of a nuclear war ‘higher than it has been in generations’, warns UN

Antitrust: Commission imposes binding obligations on Gazprom to enable free flow of gas at competitive prices in Central and Eastern European gas markets

How 3 MENA business leaders are building resilient companies post-COVID-19

Thousands of health professionals call on world leaders to prioritize a greener future, post-pandemic

Kenya wants to run entirely on green energy by 2020

COVID vaccination campaign. What are the challenges?

Greece bailout ends but with no substantial effect on citizens’ life

1 million citizens try to create a new EU institution

What the next 20 years will mean for jobs – and how to prepare

Statement by Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, on the announcement to postpone the COP26

EU and US take decisive step to end aircraft dispute

How COVID-19 is making companies act for the long term

We need tech solutions that value human interaction more than ever

Grievous violations continue against Myanmar civilians, Human Rights Council hears

The West and Russia accomplished the dismembering and the economic destruction of Ukraine

Guterres lauds UN peacekeeping, highlights need to bridge ‘critical’ gaps

How cities are failing to be inclusive – and what they can do about it

We must stop turning a blind eye to the world’s health crises

London wants to treat violent crime like a disease

Cybersecurity Act: build trust in digital technologies

MasterCard @ MWC14: Innovation in times of regulatory uncertainty

The digital revolution will transform the steel industry

‘Protracted crisis’ in Venezuela leads to ‘alarming escalation of tensions’: UN political chief

From battlefields to boardrooms: 3 steps to building high-morale teams

‘Act now with ambition and urgency’ to tackle the world’s ‘grave climate emergency’, UN chief urges UAE meeting

African cooperation on peace ‘increasingly strong’, Security Council told

European Green Deal: Commission presents actions to boost organic production

State aid: Commission approves €790 million Croatian guarantee scheme for companies with export activities affected by coronavirus outbreak

How COVID-19 might help us win the fight against climate change

Civilians suffering due to sanctions must be spared ‘collective punishment’ urges UN rights expert

5 urgent actions in the fightback against ransomware

The UN came of age with the nuclear bomb. Time for it to step up to the AI era

How can we prepare students for the Fourth Industrial Revolution? 5 lessons from innovative schools around the world

How digital identity can improve lives in a post-COVID-19 world

How we measure stakeholder capitalism will determine our recovery

Commission disburses €14.1 billion under SURE to 12 Member States

How distorted is the EU labour market by this crisis?

UN study projects $32 billion loss for UK post no-deal Brexit

One for all? Are physicians prepared to deliver care to the LGBTQIA+ community?

Trade surplus up production down in Eurozone

More Stings?

Trackbacks

  1. […] Preventing the Pandemic of Mental Illness  The European Sting […]

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s