Providing mental health during pandemic times

mental health 2020

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Rebeca Feitosa Dória Alves, a second year medical student at Universidade Tiradentes in Aracaju-SE (Brazil). 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 new situation has started in the whole world and seems it will last longer than everybody thought. Coronavirus is an unpleasant surprise which made us question priorities and routine, requiring a quick adaptation that created  consequences in several spheres. One of them was mental health, affected by disorder and impotence in pandemic.

The World Health Organization has defined Mental Health as a state of well-being in which individuals realize their abilities, are able to deal with the normal tensions of life and work productively and fruitfully for their community. With containment measures, it is a predictable consequence that this described state will change drastically. Scientific texts are conclusive in the relationship between decreased social circulation and increased stress levels. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in US, associates quarantine with sleep disorders and increased consumption of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs.

Expecting people to have greater productivity during this global moment is utopian and cruel in the face of the difficulties faced. Despite people being inserted in an ultramodern society, with all the tools to assist online interaction, to consider human behavior like a phoenix is ​​to belittle feelings and afflictions, that have their importance in emotional reading. The same society that seems to solve all the problems starts to pressure people to give more and better results as reaction and from that comes insecurity and frustration.

First of all, it is important to be careful about what will be seen on social media and television content. To protect emotional stability, networks must transmit news in an objective manner, without sensationalism and encourage the fight against false information. Another measure is publicizing tips to maintain mental health.

Considering that isolation can also cause an anxiety to perform all available activities, the main idea is to avoid comparisons and, if necessary, move away from social media for a moment. Best way to keep mental balance and express thoughts is practicing online therapy (recommended by Federal Council of Psychology, in Brazil).

To improve mental health during COVID-19, is important to know that we shouldn’t worry so much about something we can’t control. It´s fundamental to recognize work of health professionals and trust them, plus following the recommendations of health organizations. In their case, who are in direct combat, dialogue can be an ally in preserving mental health. An alternative is joining Balint groups, where the relationship with patients is discussed and each member can strengthen the other.

Once it is understood that is normal to feel lost, it is indicated to have organization for specific tasks. It is essential to set aside a moment for leisure too, respecting the established rules. Since physical union cannot happen, virtual support is indispensable to give strength in the midst of this situation, so is valid to offer help, if you can.

Promoting mental health shouldn’t be treated as a second option. Self-care is not superfluous and it is essential to set  boundaries and search for good psychological status in the best way.

About the author

Rebeca Feitosa Dória Alves is second year medical student at Universidade Tiradentes in Aracaju-SE (Brazil). She’s member of IFMSA Brazil- UNIT since 2018 and acts as Local Rights and Peace Director for the second time in management. She believes in the power of information, science, medicine and social vision to improve better community relations.

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

European Solidarity Corps: three years on

Fisheries: Commission proposes measures to conserve stocks of deep-sea species in the North-East Atlantic

The vehicles of our future

DPRK reports ‘little progress’ since historic June 2018 summit with US

Can we put a price on clean air? Yes, we can

4 ways the way we make things can change for a sustainable world

To achieve the Great Reset, we will need more than just the actions of the powerful

UN human rights chief denounces grave ‘assaults’ on fundamental rights of Palestinian people

Vegetarianism is good for the economy too

China’s Ambassador to the EU Zhang Ming wishes to Brussels a Happy 2019 Year of the Pig

Draghi: A bridge from Brussels to Berlin

Fostering intergenerational solidarity and cooperation through age-friendly environments: the right answer to Europe’s demographic challenge

Trump’s Russophiles under investigation, Europe remains ‘en garde’

Healthcare’s a human right, not ‘a privilege for the rich’ UNAIDS argues at Davos

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

A woman would have to be born in the year 2255 to get equal pay at work

UN rights chief ‘alarmed’ by upsurge in attacks against civilians in Syria’s Idlib

No way out for Eurozone’s stagnating economy

Refugees in Greece: MEPs demand solidarity, warn about impact of health crisis

Is Britain to sail alone in the high seas of trade wars?

“Move fast, build to last: Europe’s new generation” – op-ed by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

Guterres underscores UN role in achieving a free, secure Internet

Technological innovation can bolster trust and security at international borders. Here’s how

Why Eurozone urgently needs the ECB to print and distribute at least €500 billion

EU opens a third antitrust file against Google

EU Copyright Directive: Google News threatens to leave Europe while media startups increasingly worry

Why strive for Industry 4.0

The EU can afford to invest trillions in support of employment

FROM THE FIELD: What do you want to be when you grow up? One day I will…

Importance of Mental Health and keeping it together in a Pandemic 

The scary EU elections result and the delayed Council’s repentance

Who is responsible for public health? The tendencies and its benefits –or not– on Health Education around the world

Social Committee teaches Van Rompuy a lesson

Can the US-Iran rapprochement change the world?

Women still struggle to find a job, let alone reach the top: new UN report calls for ‘quantum leap’

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: sexual violence in conflict, a malaria vaccine trial, updates on Libya, Ebola in DR Congo, Sri Lanka and Mali

Japan to invest in euro values

Central Mali: Top UN genocide prevention official sounds alarm over recent ethnically-targeted killings

EU finally agreed to cut roaming charges in 2017 but criticism is always there

New EU rules to thwart money laundering and terrorist financing

Merkel: Nationalism and egoism must never have a chance again in Europe

Charles Michel advocates a strong Europe that acts where it can add real value

How technology can help us achieve universal healthcare

OECD sees global growth slowing, as Europe weakens and risks persist

This is what happened to CO2 emissions in the EU last year

EP supports local authorities fighting the effects of the pandemic

Bilbao’s city parks offer brain-training games for the elderly

Coronavirus: Pandemic alert should be trigger for countries to do more against COVID-19

A Sting Exclusive: “Delivering on the Environmental Dimension of the new Sustainable Development Agenda”, Ulf Björnholm underscores from UNEP Brussels

10 ways regulators need to change in 2020

Three of the world’s hardest-hit nations are preparing to end their lockdowns

UN condemns attack on Ebola treatment centre in DR Congo which left doctor dead, two others injured

How one change to shipping goods could change the way we live

European Commission adopts rules to ensure a smooth transition to its next President and the next College of Commissioners

These technologies are playing a major role at the Cricket World Cup

Trump’s Pandemic Failure: A Missed Opportunity

EU summit compromise: positive step for recovery, inadequate in the long-term

Fighting for minds of youth in Latvia

A healthy human future depends on healthy oceans. Here’s why

US-China trade war at point of no return: Washington’s demands go beyond tariffs

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