Mental health as a tool of survival at the Pandemic

mental health_bed

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Juliane Salim, a second-year medical student at Anhaguera Uniderp University, in Campo Grande, Brazil, and also Local Medical Education Director. She 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.


A lot is said about mental health, defined by OMS¹ as a “complete physical, mental and social well-being state and not only the lack of disease and illness”1. Thus, it is clear how much mental health has been affected at these last days, because of even those who were not directly affected by the pandemic, suffered in direct harms, in other words, today’s psychological well-being is shaken.

Furthermore, it is known that with Industrial Revolution occurred on XVIII Century, there were great advances, as well as lost because men began to be seeing as gear from a machine which could be easily replaced and, without a doubt, it caused abrupt stress and significant damage to individual’s mental health.

That said, this succinct correlation from a different time is closely related because in crisis situations, which include loss, threat, and stress cases, could affect the normal human being equilibrium leading to acute anxiety scenarios, loss of contact with reality, and many other negative attributes2.

Given the definition of mental health and how in the midst of chaos it can be violated, it is necessary to comprehend which strategies may be used by the individual to decrease possible negative repercussions. First of all, keep the social-affective network active, continuously, even if it is virtual, with family members and friends, avoiding the isolation, and it is also need to recognize and to welcome their own fears and anxieties, always looking towards someone to share those feelings. In addition to that, it is important to invest in physical exercises and actions that help with the reduction of acute stress generated by the Pandemic (meditation, reading, breathing exercises, amongst other activities)3.

To conclude, feelings of doubt, fear, insecurity, anxiety, and even rage are inherent to the current situation since the routine of the most part of the society was changed, however, it is essential to believe that this will end and society will be back to normal, but until this moment arrive it is necessary a mental health support.

References:                       

  1. Nações Unidas Brasil. Saúde mental depende de bem-estar físico e mental, diz OMS em dia mundial, 2016. Accesses on: [April 18, 2020]. Availabra in: <https://nacoesunidas.org/saude-mental-depende-de-bem-estar-fisico-e-social-diz-oms-em-dia-mundial/>.
  2. Silva CH. Crise na Saúde Mental: Visão da Equipe Multiprofissional. Lajeado. Tese [Graduação em Enfermagem]. Centro Universitário Univates, 2013.
  3. BRASIL, Ministério da Saúde. FIOCRUZ, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Saúde Mental e Psicossocial na Pandemia Covid-19. [S.I]:2020. Accessed on: [April 18, 2020]. Available in: <https://www.fiocruzbrasilia.fiocruz.br/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Sa%C3%BAde-Mental-e-Aten%C3%A7%C3%A3o-Psicossocial -na-Pandemia-Covid-19-recomenda%C3%A7%C3%B5es-gerais.pdf>

About the author

Juliane Salim, a second-year medical student at Anhaguera Uniderp University, in Campo Grande, Brazil, and also Local Medical Education Director. Being able to participate on my committee and, therefore, next IFMSA Brazil is a privilege, because it is one of the things I appreciate the most at my institution since through IFMSA Brazil I can enlarge my academic life. About the social sphere, it is constituted by my family and friends, who are fundamental for my routine.

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