The mental health is no more a problem of just an individual. Gone are the days when the mental issues were considered to be a taboo in the society and we would rarely find anyone speaking freely about it. With the advent of thousands of groups and encouraging spaces on the internet and easy access to psychologists, mental health is no more a neglected topic of society.
Ever since the inception of the global pandemic, nation-wide quarantine and with no scope of the lockdown lifting up anytime soon, the stress and anxiety has begun to take a toll on us. We understand that stress and anxiety are inevitable but it is important to stay calm and composed to direct the issues in a constructive way to make it feel less burdened. Let’s see how Dr. Sharad Tiwari, the Deputy Director of Mental Health at National Health Mission, MP, is dealing with patients suffering from mental issues during the lockdown.
To begin with, Dr. Tiwari introduced us to the Passive and Active counseling that they have been providing the people during the lockdown, “Our psychology team and the official MP toll-free number have affiliated for the counseling and the teams have been divided to work 24×7. We had started the counseling services a month back, as the pandemic patients undergoing treatment or the ones quarantined, must be experiencing some negative thoughts or depression. Keeping that in mind, we had started the helpline service. It is available 24×7, and the toll-free numbers are directed to the counselors directly. We have also collected the numbers of the people, who are quarantined and we’re reaching out to them asking in case they are facing any such mental problems. Even if not, then we’re still providing them with normal counseling. Our teams have been two types of counseling. One is the Passive Counselling, in which people call on toll-free numbers and the other one is Active Counselling, where we reach out to the quarantined people.”
Revealing what issues people are facing during the lockdown and the thoughts dominating their mind due to the quarantine, Dr. Tiwari says, “Sleep cycle has changed due to quarantine, anxiety when will the lockdown end and when will we resume our normal life. Also, when the samples are collected for the test of the virus, people worry if the tests will be negative or positive and the anxiety remains till they get the results.”
Since the doctors are also going through immense stress, which might result in mental trauma, Dr. Tiwari is planning to provide a mental orientation for the health workers with the focus on how to deal with the mental stress.
Stressing on the fact that some people are not following the lockdown and personal hygiene, Dr. Tiwari feels that this might be the reason for the increasing cases of the pandemic in our country. He says, “Amongst the ones tested positive with the disease or even the ones who have the initial symptoms, they must ensure to follow the protocol of disinfection and self-protection to prevent the exponential rise of the virus.”
Mental Health – these two words and twelve letters have always existed in our society and instead of confronting it, we’re asked to ignore it. Since the pandemic has given rise to an alarming number of cases, dealing with mental health, the counselors and psychologists have been working 24×7 to help the patients fight it. Some tips that patients dealing with stress and feeling of loneliness can practice meditation, listen to soothing music, and talk to their near and dear ones to feel better. And if that doesn’t help, then doctors like Dr. Tiwari are always just a call away to help you with the issues.