Coronavirus Outbreak Will Have Negative Impact On Mental Health: WHO


Mental health is becoming a new challenge amidst lockdowns world over to combat the pandemic. Companies have now started looking for novice ways to help employees working from home and even women who have been complaining for cases of domestic trouble.

However, the worst effected currently are health care worker and children.

Children are not equipped to handle such long duration of lockdowns. It affects them psychologically and mentally. A lack of structure due to closure of schools and colleges leads to sense of loss and anxiety among children. While schools are now shifting to an online teaching model, the lack of meeting friends and teachers is leaving children worried and peevish.

Many children depend on school meals are now reportedly finding it difficult to relish home cooked food and showing signs of irritability and crankiness.

Mental health expert from WHO Aiysha Malik, has suggested that “mental health should be part of the public health repose to Covid-19.” She also believes that health workers and children are among the groups psychologically most-affected by this crisis.

According to behavioral psychologist Virgine De Vos, this crisis could generate symptoms of depression or lack of participation over the next weeks in many Work-From-Home officer goers, mothers, and people left without jobs.

Medical staff is exposed on two counts; one of repeatedly coming in contact with infected patients and the other attack on a compromised immune system due to prolonged work hour stress. One-in-10 coronavirus cases registered in Europe came from medical staff being infected. A dozen European organizations representing health professionals have now urged countries to ensure adequate working conditions for them.

“Staff must have breaks and time off between shifts, to be able to carry on in what could be a long-term global crisis. Working in such conditions takes its toll on the psychological health of staff, so appropriate support services must also be put in place,” they said in a statement.

The WHO is now recommending rotating shifts in the most stressful positions, increase communication between work teams, having a psycho social team in hospitals and ensuring that front line workers have extensive experience.

In China, there is a spike in cases of domestic violence. The World Health Organization (WHO) has already warned against the possibility of rise in the number of people worsening mental health due to prolonged restrictive activities.

“Isolation, physical distancing, the closure of schools and workplaces are challenges that affect us, and it is natural to feel stress, anxiety, fear and loneliness at this time,” the director of the European branch of the WHO has said in a public statement.

A sense of uncertainty, lack of clarity and information is also leading to people suffering from anxiety, short temper and manic outbursts in departmental stores.  Behavioral trouble can be seen when people are thronging departmental stores and hording in panic; at times, engaging in physical violence. Such instances have come to light in Australia.

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