Mental Health – will that be the next pandemic?
As lockdown eases and the world gradually gets back to something like the normality pre-pandemic, we are seeing the signs of another crisis. The worries about the country’s physical health may recede but we may have another concern on our hands, the country’s mental health.
Who’s at risk?
There are two groups of people who may be vulnerable:
- Those already diagnosed with serious mental illness.
- Those experiencing mental health issues due to the pandemic.
Absolutely anyone can suffer from mental health problems, at any stage in their life. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused so much suffering it may cause an increase in people being vulnerable to mental illness.
There a few reasons why people may struggle but here are the key ones:
- People have lost their jobs
Millions of people have lost their livelihoods and are struggling financially. The furlough scheme helped to some extent, however many businesses will struggle to recover post-pandemic, whenever that may be.
- People have lost loved ones
So many people have died during the coronavirus pandemic, which is devastating enough. But many families were not able to be with loved ones when they were ill due to the strict distancing guidelines. This must have been traumatic for some many people.
- Anxiety around the virus
A potential second wave of the pandemic will be causing feelings of anxiety. It makes the world feel very unpredictable and unsafe.
People who are already struggling with mental illness are likely to be facing even greater challenges. On top of that, it is recognised that rates of severe mental illness increase following a national crisis. Therefore, it is likely that the mental health consequences of COVID-19 will become an urgent public health challenge worldwide for years. However, if it’s ignored, this pandemic will have far-reaching effects for all parts of our lives.