Mental health during the pandemic should be prioritized: Experts

Mental health during the pandemic should be prioritized: Experts

Qatar Living
By Qatar Living

The pandemic has certainly not been easy on everyone and the uncertain global situation has taken a toll on the mental health of several members of the community. Research studies and surveys conducted by experts depict a sharp rise in anxiety and depressive cases among people. Experts have stressed that it is crucial to take care of one’s emotional well-being too, apart from physical health. 

Tina Balachandran, co-founder of Flourishing Minds and Middle East Psychological Association Qatar chapter (MEPA) states that this is a problem that’s not exclusive to Qatar, but is common globally. A clinical psychologist by profession, she further iterated the need to normalize mental health conversations as having anxiety or depression isn’t a sign of weakness. 

Balachandran added in an interview with The Peninsula, “This is the time to reach out to friends, families, and talk about your thoughts, feelings, and emotions and reach out to mental health professionals if you feel that it can be very helpful.

The five ways of well-being including the ability to be active; to connect; to observe what’s happening around us; to be able to give back to the community; and to take away learnings from this process: most of these have been hindered by the pandemic. The routine structure of life was disrupted and it has worsened existing issues with emotional wellness. 

The MEPA Director states that the government initiatives and private sector efforts in Qatar go a long way in ensuring mental health awareness and making it easier for people to access professional help. 

In an encouraging initiative, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) launched a Mental Health and Wellbeing Helpline on 16000. Staffed by a team of mental health professionals who offer free and confidential consultation to anyone who is anxious, depressed, or is feeling low. The helpline is functional from 7 am–3 pm from Saturday to Thursday. 

Users can call 16000, select their desired language, and press 4 for Mental Health. The team is staffed by certified professionals who can also speak diverse languages. 

With the rise in Covid-19 cases, it is crucial that the community practices safety protocols and also reaches out to the right professionals for issues relating to anxiety, stress, and depression. After, all, emotional well-being is the key to overall better health. 

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Cover image credit and source: Peninsula

 

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