Lockdown Mental Health Awareness
The ongoing covid-19 pandemic is a crisis that the world has never seen before. Due to the noble situation we find ourselves in as a country (a nationwide lockdown) it is no surprise that mental health issues arise during this period.
The WHO (world health org) stated “Most people affected by emergencies will experience distress (e.g. feelings of anxiety and sadness, hopelessness, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, irritability or anger and/or aches and pains). This is normal and will for most people improve over time. However, the prevalence of common mental disorders such as depression and anxiety are expected to more than double in a humanitarian crisis.”
Casey Chambers of the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) has said “ We are anticipating an increase in the number of calls and we are trying to build capacity as we deal with the influx.” SADAG have published several resources and tips on their website as guidelines trying to limit the degree of anxiety, panic or depression during these difficult times.
The recommendations include but are not limited to the following– avoid media sourcing or having conversations around the virus throughout the day as this will cause increased anxiety. Filter what you are reading, set times to check for updates and use trusted sources only. Don’t use smoking, alcohol or other drugs to deal with your emotions. If you feel overwhelmed, talk to your mental health professional, counsellor, family or friend. Make it a part of your daily routine to reach out to friends and family. Having a sense of connection and a feeling of community is essential for hope and healing.