With the rapid spread of COVID-19, more and more people are facing either sudden or growing mental health struggles with less available support than before. Feelings of anxiety panic, and even loneliness are beginning to affect people in varying degrees.
As togetherness is discouraged, more people are beginning to search for solace online. While this can work as a temporary measure, weeks without physical contact is dangerous, and definitely a concern. The restricted access to social support networks is causing many to enter a panic like frenzy as they are many of their daily life routines are being disrupted and prohibited. Self-isolation also means a continuous connection to media coverage and content relating to the virus spreading, which can only worsen the situation.
The number of face-to-face consultations may have decreased; however, this doesn’t mean that patients in need of mental health support are restricted from any resources. Many mental health apps and e-services has begun to release their premium services for free. For example, Dr. Amy Cirbus with Talkspace states that her user volume is up 25% this month, and many are wanting to discuss how the pandemic can affect their lives and families (Basu, 2020).
Meanwhile, the NHS has uploaded an extensive guide to how to take care of one’s wellbeing whilst at home. There is a list of helplines for teletherapy services, as well as 24-hour online support chats. Furthermore, they have gone the extra mile to help citizens learn about their employment and benefits rights, which are in no doubt important considering the number of people who are let go of their employment contracts. Their guide is available here.
As a final note, let us not forget about the mental health of frontline healthcare workers who are working tirelessly for our recovery during this unprecedented time.