The Mental Health impact of COVID-19
With the coronavirus shining a light on current health issues it seems like everyone is concerned with only one aspect; the physical. Social distancing, lock downs, masks all physical containment measures.
It can be difficult at times to find information on the mental health impacts of the coronavirus. We’re yet to understand the full extent of the effects of the virus and lock-down on the mental health of people. That isn’t to say that there is no focus, even the UN recognises the need for mental health services support. But there just isn’t the same level of information available unfortunately.
Tracking the changes that people experience in their mental health can be a big challenge. One of the most difficult aspects is simply being able to get people to come forward. Despite strides in society, mental health remains a stigmatised issue. Many people feel they cannot speak out about their issues and this can lead to a lack of statistics. For many life simply continues, albeit poorly.
Many choose to try and hide their symptoms and push their problems to the back of their mind.
This is, in and of itself a problem. It’s important that we’re able to reach out to our friends and family and ask them how they’re coping.
Especially with the unprecedented impact of the virus on daily life with experts saying “(the) Mental health repercussions regarding what is happening during this pandemic for people, today and beyond, will really be a problem”
One of the simplest ways of helping a friend or loved one is by asking if they’re ok.
“(the) Mental health repercussions regarding what is happening during this pandemic for people, today and beyond, will really be a problem”
So R U OK?
With R U OK? day recently (10.09.20) there has been a greater focus on the impacts on peoples mental health. The day encourages people to speak up about their issues and is aimed to de-stigmatize mental health. At Wanngi we share this vision though unfortunately, not all people agree with the government potentially cutting peoples lines of communication. This makes it more important than ever before to take mental health just as seriously as we take physical health. It is just as important to log your mood, thoughts and feelings as it is to log your symptoms.
We’re hoping that people can find Wanngi useful as a tool not just for physical ailments but also utilise our features to help their mental health. Logging your mindset and thoughts can be useful in showing your therapist a breakdown of how you’ve been coping. We understand that it can be difficult to relive emotions when telling someone about how you felt. The important part is getting it out there though. The more you’re able to talk about problems the less they control you.
Talking can be difficult, but what about asking?
Asking the question can be just as difficult as answering it. How do you approach someone you think is struggling?
It can be as simple as grabbing a coffee with a friend.
The important thing to remember when approaching someone is to expect anything. People need space to talk about their feelings. You can’t crowd someone or expect them to immediately know how they feel. It takes time and patience to help a friend or loved one deal with their mental health issues. You’ll need to understand that mental health and physical health are very different and that mental health issues can be chronic too.
It’s important that when you speak to someone they feel safe and in a non judgemental space. Most of all it’s important to approach the person from a place of love. Knowing that you care about them can help them to feel comfortable in sharing with you. R U OK? has some great tips for asking someone how they feel here.
How we're doing
At Wanngi we’ve felt the effects that a prolonged lock-down can have on a persons mental health. Our staff are spread across Australia from Melbourne to Brisbane. Part of our efforts around promoting wellness is to check in daily with our crew. Even just a short chat can help someone struggling. Letting people know that their voice is heard is also important to us.
It is important to us that every person in our team feels heard.