The Covid-19 pandemic: how to take care of mental health?

coronavirus

(Engin akyurt, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Stephany Caroline Menezes da Silva, a student in the 3rd semester of the medical course at the State University of Amazonas (UEA), located in Manaus, Amazonas, 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.


With the Covid-19 pandemic, a series of feelings are aroused in the general population, such as anxiety, fear, anguish, stress and panic (1). In this population are included people with different ages and social classes who deal with such sudden but necessary social isolation. However, we should’t analyze these people from a single perspective, since each individual carries a personal predisposition for the development of mental health problems. But it is indisputable that social isolation and the several feelings experienced in the face of an epidemic can begin or enhance states that are harmful to the mental health of many people (2).

Thus, it is necessary to rethink individual and daily attitudes that may be contributing to a mental health imbalance and that can generate diseases. One of the ways to initiate this self-care with mental health is to recognize the emotions that are activated in times of crisis. Accepting these emotions is the initial step towards emotional control in the face of the pandemic. In addition, it’s necessary to deconstruct habits that are harmful to psychological well-being, such as constantly thinking about the disease or excessively monitor news and information from unreliable sources, who often seek sensationalism to alarm the population, causing more fear and stress. To stay informed, it is only necessary to seek information from reliable sources and at reserved times, such as government websites (3).

It is also important to protect children and the elderly from unnecessary information that will only cause panic and stress. Alerting them in a positive way and teaching them how to protect themselves will generate a healthier environment for them and the family as a whole. However, many elderly people live alone, which can increase the feeling of loneliness in the face of a pandemic situation. Thus, the ideal would be for each family to maintain virtual contact with these elderly people. (4)

Looking for other activities that add to leisure and that are of personal taste can be great stimulants for mental health, such as starting a stopped project, starting to read a book, tidying up your home environment, doing physical activities at home or in a protected place, watching movies or series, meditating, keeping religious or spiritual activities away from crowds, among others. However, news reports point to an increase in complaints of domestic violence during the quarantine period in Brazil, which shows the situation of physical and psychological violence experienced by women, the elderly and children because they are in greater contact with the aggressor (5). So, if the family environment is violent, it is important that the victim makes a report or asks for help from a social assistance network.

It is important to remember that if any acquaintance or family member has symptoms of Covid-19, there is no need to panic. The search for medical guidance and respect for the conduct proposed by WHO are essential and, with these individual daily care, people can maintain good mental health. 

References:

  1. Ornell F, Schuch JB, Sordi AO, Kessler FHP. “Pandemic fear” and COVID-19: mental health burden and strategies. Braz. J. Psiquiatria [online]. 2020 [cited 2020 abr 18]. Availabre from: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1516-44462020005008201&lng=en
  2. Torales J, O’Higgins M, Castaldelli-Maia JM, Ventriglio A. The outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus and its impact on global mental health. Int J Soc Psychiatry [online]. 2020 [cited 2020 abr 18], p. 1-4; Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32233719/
  3. World Health Organization (WHO). Mental Health Considerations during COVID-19 Outbreak, 2020
  4. Federal University of São Carlos. Taking care of your mental health in times of coronavirus. Laboratory of Occupational Therapy and Mental Health, 2020. Available from: http://www.saci.ufscar.br/data/solicitacao/41654_coronavirus_saudemental.pdf

About the author

Stephany Caroline Menezes da Silva is a student in the 3rd semester of the medical course at the State University of Amazonas (UEA), located in Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil. She has been a member of the International Federation of Medical Students Association (IFMSA) since 2019, currently serving as the local director of a committee pertaining to sexual and reproductive health and rights including HIV / AIDS (SCORA). She believes that, as a student in the field, the right and duty to contribute to the construction of a society based on respect and representation.

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

Commission Vice-President Rehn exaggerates Eurozone’s growth prospects

Industrial policy: recommendations to support Europe’s leadership in six strategic business areas

Number of MEPs to be reduced after EU elections in 2019

5 ways to break down the barriers for women to access leadership roles

A Sting Exclusive: “On the road to Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement”, by Ambassador Katakami of the Japanese Mission to the European Union

AI can help us unlock the world’s most complex operating system – the human body

5 amazing schools that will make you wish you were young again

Healthcare guidance apps to professional’s continued education?

The world needs a circular economy. Help us make it happen

Victims of terrorism remembered

Banks cannot die but can be fined

The next generation is key for a European renaissance

UN appeals for international support as flood waters rise in wake of second Mozambique cyclone

UN expert calls for international investigation into ‘evident murder’ of Jamal Khashoggi

‘The clock is ticking’ on meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, says UN deputy chief

A Monday to watch the final act of a Greek tragedy; will there be catharsis or more fear?

Syrian Constitutional Committee a ‘sign of hope’: UN envoy tells Security Council

Coronavirus: Commission stands ready to continue supporting EU’s agri-food sector

Norway is returning Easter Island artefacts to Chile (Will Britain ever return the marbles to Greece?)

MWC 2016 Live: Mobile ad industry still waiting for “revolution”

Brexit casts a shadow over the LSE – Deutsche Börse merger: a tracer of how or if brexit is to be implemented

MWC 2016 Live: Roshan CEO opens up on Afghanistan challenges

EU Commission announces Safe Harbour 2.0 and a wider Data protection reform

Commission sets moderate greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2030

From Russia with love: Brussels and Moscow close to an agreement on Ukraine’s gas supplies

Sudan Prime Minister survives attempted assassination

Monday’s Daily Brief: WFP mulls ‘last resort’ Yemen aid suspension, top peacekeeping awardee announced, abuzz over Bee Day, Ebola threat ‘very high’

EU-U.S. Privacy Shield: Second review shows improvements but a permanent Ombudsperson should be nominated by 28 February 2019

Why helping cross-border commuters is key to fighting COVID-19

Future EU-UK Partnership: European Commission takes first step to launch negotiations with the United Kingdom

Emotional control and introspectivity in times of pandemic

Why economic growth depends on closing the interview gap

The Khashoggi affair: A global complot staged behind closed doors

THE ROAD TO GANESHA

EU-Turkey relations: EU considers imposing sanctions while Turkey keeps violating Cyprus’ sovereignty

What if Trump wins the November election and Renzi loses the December referendum?

Nicaragua crisis: One year in, more than 60,000 have fled, seeking refuge

Trump after marginalizing G20 attacks Europe and China where it hurts, brandishes currency war

EU-Ukraine Summit: moving forward together in solidarity

MEPs to prioritise environment and climate action in next long-term budget

In Libya, Guterres ‘deeply concerned’ by risk of fresh military confrontation, urges restraint

UN forum to bring ‘big space data’ benefits to disaster response in Africa

The 5 lessons from New York Climate Week to help us combat deforestation

More than four in 10 women, live in fear of refusing partner’s sexual demands, new UN global study finds

Poverty and social exclusion skyrocket with austerity

3 ways to use digital identity systems in global supply chains

EU leads the torn away South Sudan to a new bloody civil war

Gender parity can boost economic growth. Here’s how

Technology can help solve the climate crisis – but it will need our help

An open letter from business to world leaders: “Be ambitious, and together we can address climate change”

Cyclone Idai: UNICEF warns of ‘race against time’ to protect children, prevent spread of disease in flood-ravaged Mozambique

EU-US trade war? EU calls for logic while Trump’s administration is a loose cannon in a dangerous lose-lose situation for global prosperity

This AI outperformed 20 corporate lawyers at legal work

We spend half our time at work in meetings – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing

Is history a new NATO weapons against Russia?

How three US cities are using data to end homelessness

2013, a Political Odyssey: What future for Italy?

The jobs forecast is unsettled. It’s time for a reskilling revolution

The European Parliament fails to really restrict the rating agencies

UPDATED: Thousands flee fighting around Libyan capital as Guterres condemns escalation, urges ‘immediate halt’ to all military operations

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