Health Systems and Society: ways to reinforce the human power during the pandemic

mental health 2020

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr Gabriel Danielli Quintana, a 3 rd Year medical student from the Federal University of Pelotas (UFPel). 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.

Mental health is one of the main challenges of our era, after all, the prevalence of mental disorders has increased and also their consequences for the social welfare and the economy (according to WHO, depression and anxiety coasts more than US$ 1 trillion per year to the global economy). With the emergence of COVID-19, stressors such as isolation and alcohol consumption increased, worsening the loneliness feelings, consequently intensifying the search for support. During crisis periods, fear and uncertainties dominate the society, to face them we need solid and welcoming social services to reinforce support networks and help us against the anxiety inside our homes. In this scenario, ‘’Suicide Prevention Numbers’’ worldwide are gaining importance and they will be essential to face the current challenges.

These projects are alternatives for those who face feelings of despair and helplessness, and their work also provides a possibility to monitoring alert cases by the competent bodies. It’s universally understood that there are risky behaviors and warning signs that must be monitored preventing possible harm to the individual or the others. In this sense, the actions of the SPNs are an effective strategy to provide social support to those who may be unassisted or those who cannot be supported by the already exhausted health systems, in addition to bringing information to the social health services.

In any case, how can we support mental health without outsourcing the responsibility of the health system without transferring it to the volunteer citizens. An alternative is to incorporate such initiatives into the health policies, improving it and fostering them in every needy place, based on state measures and joint actions with the ‘’third sector’’ agents (as the SPNs). Although its voluntary and informal character, it is important to note that those programs are just complements of the public sector actions used as tools to strengthen the safety nets – especially essential in this moment of psychological crisis-. In addition, there are different levels of emotional stress co-existing: each one is affected by the COVID-19 in a different way. While some go through difficulties, others are with enhanced mental health and are willing to help those who need. Of course, always keeping in mind the volunteers must be monitored, trained and guided by specialists – which is already done in the current model of SPNs-.
Moments of crisis generate greater and more serious demands, which consequently focus efforts and resources in certain areas of ​​medical care, leading other sectors to urge for alternative solutions. Initiatives that encourage altruism and social engagement are the key to mutual benefit in crisis time, after all they offer ways to reframe our difficulties, opening paths for growth and personal overcoming. More than that, they connect people and recreate personal links, avoiding the social fragmentation. It’s time to ‘’think outside the box’’ about health issues, expand care horizons, mobilize society in our favor and reinforce the human power. Together we will always be stronger.

About the author

Gabriel Danielli Quintana is 3 rd Year medical student from the Federal University of Pelotas (UFPel). Affiliated to the IFMSA Brazil and Local Coordinator of the IFMSA UFPel. Interested in Public Health, Mental Health and Medical Education. Member of the Students Academic League of Psychiatry. Enthusiastic of art, innovation, economy and global changes. Already published articles in MSI (IFSMA’s biannual magazine focused on global health perspectives brought by medical students worldwide) and another magazine. Coming from an Italian family, I was born in Ecuador, now I’m living in Brazil. I believe that knowledge and culture are the key to the big changes in the world.

the sting Milestone

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 Youth Goals – we are shapers not listeners

Eurozone’s sovereign debt not a problem anymore?

Outbreak or breakout? How to protect prison populations from COVID-19

Companies ‘failing’ to address offline harm incited by online hate: UN expert

From start-up to scale: This is how governments can accelerate innovation and build inclusive economies

Independent UN rights experts call for ‘immediate investigation’ into alleged Bezos phone hack by Saudi Arabia

Italy and Greece zeroed their fiscal deficits, expect Germany’s response

Robots will soon be a necessity but they won’t take all our jobs

State aid: Commission approves Belgian scheme deferring payment by Walloon airports of concession fees to mitigate economic impact of coronavirus outbreak

EU and UK soon to be in a post-Brexit rush over free trade agreement with Australia

It’s time to stop talking about ethics in AI and start doing it

State of the Union 2018: The Hour of European Sovereignty

Total US cases quadruple in one week – Today’s coronavirus updates

UN launches drive to highlight environmental cost of staying fashionable

UN chief hails victory of ‘political will’ in historic Republic of North Macedonia accord

3 ways to rebuild trust in how we regulate technology

Sassoli: Migration agreement respects fundamental principles of Parliament’s proposal

Human rights in Brussels and in Beijing: a more balanced approach needed

In this ‘wildland’ farm in Britain, species thrive and yields are high

What’s needed now to fight COVID-19 – Updates from today’s WHO briefing

Why and how did ISIS and Muslim fundamentalism gain momentum this year?

EU Commission draws the wrong conclusions

Celebrating Gaston Ramon – the vet who discovered vaccinology’s secret weapon

Coronavirus: harmonised standards for medical devices to respond to urgent needs

Most fish consumers support a ban on fishing endangered species, poll finds

Antibiotics are contaminating the world’s rivers

Appalling overall unemployment in Eurozone at 20.6%

Iran-US attack in Iraq: Guterres pledges ‘active engagement’ in further de-escalation efforts

5G: How a ‘legion of robots’ could help save the rhino

The power of digital tools to transform mental healthcare

How to beat gender stereotypes: learn, speak up and react

Four things the UN chief wants world leaders to know, at key COP24 climate conference opening

Commission and ECB prepare new financial mega-tool in support of SMEs

45th Anniversary of the French Confederation (Confédération Nationale des Junior Entreprises)

Break taboo around menstruation, act to end ‘disempowering’ discrimination, say UN experts

In this Tokyo cafe, the waiters are robots operated remotely by people with disabilities

Education should be like everything else. An on-demand service

New OECD work to support citizen engagement with governments

FROM THE FIELD: Powering up health care in Sub-Saharan Africa

The Indian miracle state pointing the way to global sustainability

How to stay in shape and step up support for refugees

Connected Claims Europe on 18-19 September 2019, in association with The European Sting

The miserables and the untouchables of the economic crisis

Tobacco is harming the planet, not just our health, says new study

Facility for Refugees in Turkey: €127 million to boost EU’s largest ever humanitarian programme

Commission challenges Council over EU 2014 budget

Consumer product quality: MEPs take aim at dual standards

From philanthropy to profit: how clean energy is kickstarting sustainable development in East Africa

Want to shop more sustainably and recycle better? This app could help

G20: Less growth, more austerity for developing countries

Hungary: people born in the 2020s won’t have legal rights any more to buy tobacco

Yemen hospital airstrike under investigation amid resurgence of deadly cholera

EU economy: Between recession and indiscernible growth

EU-US trade talks go ahead despite Prism and civil rights breach

Empowering people living with HIV ‘will end the epidemic’, says AIDS agency chief

Draghi keeps the euro cheap, helps debt refinancing, recapitalization of banks and growth

4 key steps towards a circular economy

EFSF/ESM boss tells half truths about Troika’s doings

COP22 addresses a strong global pledge to effectively implement the Paris Agreement

Superbugs: MEPs advocate further measures to curb use of antimicrobials

More Stings?


Speak your Mind Here

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

You are commenting using your 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