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

Brexit: The Conservative Party drives the UK and Europe to a perilous road

3 ways we are making an impact on plastic pollution

GSMA Mobile 360 Series –Digital Societies, in association with The European Sting

7 innovative projects making cities more sustainable

The future of energy in Puerto Rico is renewable

Nature is our strongest ally in ensuring global water security

5 facts you should know about the world’s refugees

5 ways to net a sustainable future for aquaculture

Clamp down on illegal trade in pets, urge Public Health Committee MEPs

The West – the EU and the US – is writing off Turkey’s Erdogan

Why the ECB prepares to flood the markets with more and free of charge euro; everybody needs that now

Efforts to save the planet must start with the Antarctic

Zuckerberg, a paella, and the mighty EU questionnaires that would stop Whatsapp acquisition by Facebook?

We have the tools to beat climate change. Now we need to legislate

10 Downing street: Another desperate attempt to unite Britain on Brexit

COVID-19: MEPs debate how to best protect cross-border and seasonal workers

African economies sustain progress in domestic resource mobilisation

Cleantech innovation is being stifled. Here’s how to unlock it

The West unites against Mali desert rebels

It’s time we harnessed Big Data for good

These are the top 10 emerging technologies of 2019

Coal addiction ‘must be overcome’ to ease climate change, UN chief says in Bangkok

The migration crisis is slowly melting the entire EU edifice

Africa’s inspiring innovators show what the future could hold

5 factors driving the Chinese lawtech boom

EU on track to end use of chemicals harming the ozone layer

DiscoverEU: 20,000 more young people will explore Europe in 2020

Hunger in Yemen: WFP considers aid suspension in face of repeated interference by some Houthi leaders

4 simple ways to make your holiday season more sustainable

“One Belt One Road”: Its relevance to the European Companies

Abu Dhabi is investing $250 million in tech start-ups

Coronavirus: Commission unveils EU vaccines strategy

4 ways sporting events are becoming more sustainable

How the ‘California effect’ could shape a global approach to ethical AI

Statement by Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager on State aid measures to address the economic impact of COVID-19

Landmine casualties high for third consecutive year despite record funding, latest monitor reports

One in three fish caught never gets eaten

A young person’s perspective on the Paris and Beirut attacks and aftermath

Building a stronger Europe: new initiatives to further boost role of youth, education and culture policies

COVID-19: What you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic on 9 April

COP24: green, gender focus, as UN’s crucial climate change conference gets underway

‘The best-selling brand today is fear’: UN chief highlights urgent need to address global ‘deficit of trust’

Historical success for the First ever European Presidential Debate

Here are 3 ways venture capital can fund a better future

UN envoy says he ‘is ready to go to Idlib’ to help ensure civilian safety amid rising fears of government offensive

Here’s what I learned at Davos 2020

These countries are making ‘travel bubbles’ for post-lockdown tourism

It’s not your imagination, summers are getting hotter

These countries have the most nuclear reactors

A clean energy future with hydrogen could be closer than we think

Further reforms can foster more inclusive labour markets in The Netherlands

UN rights office calls on Zimbabwe Government to end ‘crackdown’ in response to fuel protests

The ASEAN Community sees the light: the genesis of a new powerful economic and political bloc and EU’s big opportunity

Quality coffee can boost local economies and benefit farmers – here’s how

Water pollution is killing millions of Indians. Here’s how technology and reliable data can change that

Monsoon rains turn millions of children’s lives ‘upside down’ across South Asia

Western Sahara: a ‘peaceful solution’ to conflict is possible, says UN envoy

European Commission launches infringement proceedings against the UK following its failure to name a candidate for EU Commissioner

MEPs agree on new rules to tax digital companies’ revenues

This is how COVID-19 is affecting informal workers

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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