Mental health in the times of coronavirus

depressed

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Fatima Mohammed Salih and Wafa Hosam, second year medical students at Omdurman Islamic University. They are 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 writers and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


Pandemics are a large-scale outbreaks of infectious diseases that can greatly increase morbidity and mortality over a wide geographic area and cause a wide disruption to global, National and local assets which in turn disrupt economical, social and political status of countries. Those disruptions reflect immediately on people in the area affected physically and  psychologically. Mental health is an important part of overall health and well-being. It includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. Further discussed Corona Virus epidemic and it’s impact on mental health.

WHO define mental health as a state of well-being in which an individual realizes its own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to its community. As the pandemic of Corona Virus is health emergency in the whole world where human life is threatened and there are a significant amount of infected and dead humans. These put communities on long-lasting stress and anxiety from getting infected. To wear on the spread of virus countries do preventive measures like social distancing, education institutions and business closures and quarantine. All of these expose many people to financial distress, isolation and loneliness with feeling of insecurity, fear and suppressing of their rights. Especially in poor countries in which most of the population depend on their daily work, quarantine will reduce their productivity and can make them fall to the scope of poorness which will reflect badly on them and their families.

Which all lead to raise poor mental health like level of depression, self harm, suicide behaviors and harmful alcohol and drugs uses, gambling, domestic and child abuse, and psychosocial risks (such as social disconnection, lack of meaning or anomie, feeling a burden, financial stress, bereavement, loss, unemployment, homelessness, and relationship breakdown). [¹]

With these risks we need to support each other; supporting people not just help the receiver but also the supporter. We need to stop seeing or listen to false information or myths which are just increase anxiety and insecurity and get information from authority so we can protect ourselves and loved ones. Make routine and plans that cope with your current situation especially if you’re staying at home. It’s normal to feel sad, scared, anxious or stress so express what you feel it’s healthy but in a positive way. Seek help from your family, friends or health care provider if you feel your mental health is being going worse. Governments must take care of the citizens mental health by providing tools and programmes that connect people and insure them spending a creative, productive time from their homes. Further on insuring resilience of different facilities to pandemics to protect people from shocking changes.

We have to believe that disease is a matter of fate and destiny and as corona virus put all the world in danger it puts us in a changing point which we have to be a one strong body that protect each organ in it so always remember ask for help cause we are all together.

References

1- Multidisciplinary research priorities for the COVID-19 pandemic: a call for action for mental health science.

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanpsy/article/PIIS2215-0366(20)30168-1/fulltext

About the author

Fatima Mohammed Salih and Wafa Hosam are both Second year medical students at Omdurman Islamic University. They are members of Medical International Network_Sudan (MedSIN_Sudan) and International Federation of Medical Student's Associations(IFMSA).

 

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