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

REACT-EU: EU support to mitigate immediate effects of the COVID-19 crisis

Korea must enhance detection and reinforce sanctions to boost foreign bribery enforcement

Draghi hands over to banks €77.7 billion more

Here’s the secret to financing a greener future

Why EU’s working and unemployed millions remain uncertain or even desperate about their future

Companies that put employees first perform better

38th ACP-EU Assembly: dialogue on cooperation challenges in Kigali

Privatization as a symptom of health inequity

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “If we do not do properly the Paris agreement, then all 16 remaining goals will be undermined”, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon cautions from Davos

To beat hunger and combat climate change, world must ‘scale-up’ soil health – UN

In visit to hurricane-ravaged Bahamas, UN chief calls for greater action to address climate change

Trade with the United States: Council authorises negotiations on elimination of tariffs for industrial goods and on conformity assessment

Iran: BBC and other broadcast journalists harassed; families threatened – UN experts

Why developing new antibiotics is a matter of life and death

7 shocking statistics that show the cost of corruption

Lithuania finds the ways to maintain its energy security

Migration crisis update: The “Habsburg Empire” comes back to life while EU loses control

Under fire, UN refugee agency evacuates 135 detained in Libya to Niger

State of the Union 2018: The Hour of European Sovereignty

Alarming level of reprisals against activists, human rights defenders, and victims – new UN report

Infrastructural and system barriers to Universal Health Coverage: get in my patient’s shoes

Some truths about the coronavirus, according to the World Health Organization

Visa-free access to the EU for UK nationals and to the UK for EU nationals

Improving Italy’s capital market will boost growth opportunities for Italian companies and savers

Cyber-Risk Assessments: the vaccine for companies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

These Asian economies invested in their people – and it paid off

Progress made at COP25, despite lack of agreement to increase climate ambition

4 innovation hotspots in the Arab world

This Scottish forest is both a home for wildlife and a boost for the local economy

EU mobilises immediate support for its Western Balkan partners to tackle coronavirus

Boris Johnson’s no-deal Brexit to differ when issued from 10 Downing St.

“There are many converging visions and interests between the One Belt One Road initiative and the Juncker Investment Plan”, Ambassador Yang of the Chinese Mission to EU highlights from Brussels

Humanitarian aid: EU steps up support in Nigeria for conflict victims

The EU Commission openly repudiates the austere economic policies

No hard drivers in sight to remodel the stagnating affairs of the EU

Chart of the day: These countries have the highest share of electric vehicles

Successful carbon removal depends on these 3 conditions

ISIS fighters fleeing Mosul for Syria can topple Assad. Why did the US now decide to uproot them from Iraq?

“Is Europe innovative? Oh, Yes we are very innovative!”, Director General of the European Commission Mr Robert-Jan Smits on another Sting Exclusive

UN must bring more women police officers into the fold to be effective – UN peacekeeping official

The Free World Experience Report – LGBTQI+ health on the spot

Trump badly cornered at home by agribusiness and steel consumer lobbies: Trade

ZTE @ MWC14: ZTE excels in all areas at this year’s Mobile World Congress

Egypt: The road to hell paved with western advices for democracy

UN launches new framework to strengthen fight against terrorism

Syria war: executions condemned as violence continues ‘on both sides’ of border with Turkey

This UK footballer just won free school meals for kids in the summer holidays

MWC 2016 LIVE: Zuckerberg warns mobile industry not to ignore the unconnected

CO2 emissions around the world

COP21 Breaking News: China has promised to cut emissions from its coal power plants by 60% by 2020

Rising landmine blast toll in Afghanistan highlights long-term care needs of survivors

Topic: Mental Health in times of pandemic: What can each individual do to lessen the burden?

25 years on from landmark conference, millions of women and girls still in danger: UN deputy chief

Nigeria: UN chief ‘appalled’ by killing of aid worker; calls for release of remaining hostages

How a new approach to meat can help end hunger

Why social working cultures are happier and more productive

EU: Divided they stand on immigration and Trump hurricanes

TTIP: why it is worth not to pull the covers over your head?

Leading Palestinian legislator calls for ‘new international engagement’ in two-state solution

UN mosquito sterilization technology set for global testing, in battle against malaria, dengue

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