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

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

European Youth, quo vadis?

The US banks drive the developing world to a catastrophe

Ending use of chemical weapons in Syria: ‘still work to be done’, says UN disarmament chief

An introduction to ‘Eco-Medical Literacy’ and its importance in shaping expert medical professionals

UK economy in dire straits: leading banks now officially plan to Brexit too

Youth employment crisis easing but far from over

These 4 leaders are working to improve integration in Southeast Asia

As Libya talks resume in Geneva, UN negotiator seeks to overcome sticking points

Public Policies for LGBT in Brazil

UN Climate Action Summit concludes with insufficient EU and global pledges

‘Reef cubes’: could these plastic-free blocks help save the ocean?

The EU Parliament slams Commission on economic governance

To rebuild trust in the media, we must empower its consumers

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

Sherpa climbers carried out the highest-ever spring clean. This is what they found

What companies gain by including persons with disabilities

“Be aware where you put your I Agree signature on and something else”; now Facebook by default opts you in an unseen private data bazar

The green hydrogen revolution has started, and it won’t be stopped

The EU resumes budget support assistance to the Republic of Moldova

The US repelled EU proposals on common rules for banks

This Kenyan company makes fuel from human poo

Erdogan vies to become Middle East Sultan over Khashoggi’s killing

Cities are especially vulnerable to COVID-19. These organizations are leading the urban response.

World Wildlife Day: UN chief urges ‘more caring’ relationship with nature

Statement by the Brexit Steering Group on UK paper on EU citizens in the UK

6 ways to ensure AI and new tech works for – not against – humanity

Budget MEPs back €1.6 million to help 400 former workers of Carrefour Belgium

Art, mental health and suicide: different strategies for increasing access to health services

Who may profit from the rise of the extreme right in the West?

Everything you need to know about the coronavirus

Thought AIs could never replace human imagination? Think again

Coronavirus: the truth against the myths

The scheming of Boris: win an election after a no-deal Brexit

The European Sting writes down the history LIVE from G20 Leaders’ Summit in Turkey

With 5 billion set to miss out on health care, UN holds landmark summit to boost coverage

How our food system is eating away at nature, and our future

UN court increases sentence of former Bosnian-Serb leader to life imprisonment

Harmonised Unemployment Rates (HURs), OECD – Updated: February 2020

Europe bows to Turkey’s rulers, sends Syrian refugees back to chaos

Meet the robot fighting back against coral reef destruction

Reimagining the future for skills: What we learned from young people

Brexit talks: Today the world to hear of a predictable failure

Climate Change and Human Health: Two Faces of The Same Coin

This team of Saudi women designed an award-winning app to make the Hajj safer

Leaders need hard data to make the hard decisions about sustainability

UN chief welcomes announcement by Emir of Qatar to allocate $50 million to support Syrian refugees, displaced persons

Brexiteer May gets lip-service from Trump and Turkish promises from Erdogan

Health privatisation: reviving Alma-Ata

‘Make healthy choices’ urges UN agency, to prevent and manage chronic diabetes

Digital distrust: We’re losing faith in technology to solve the world’s problems

Commission notifies the Republic of Panama over the need to step up action to fight against illegal fishing

War of words in Davos over Eurozone’s inflation/deflation

Successful carbon removal depends on these 3 conditions

Here are 5 new green laws coming into force in 2020

Top UN Syria envoy hails ‘impressive’ start to historic talks in Geneva

Inaction on obesity stands in the way of sustainable development

Coronavirus: First case confirmed in Gulf region, more than 6,000 worldwide

Commission caps charges on card and Internet payments and enforces competition

Tech companies could achieve much more by serving the common good. Here’s 3 steps they should take

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