Petition for improving the awareness of mental health during the time of COVID-19 pandemic

Petition for improving the awareness of mental health during the time of COVID-19 pandemic

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Yuanmeng Wang started this petition to Link and

COVID-19 pandemic is the global crisis that people are facing. Governments, both the United States and other countries` have devoted fighting for the virus and trying their best to minimize the spreading of the infection. Public health notifications have created by several organizations and assigned to the public. The World Health Organization (WHO) have the coronavirus tips "Do the five" to advocate better self-protection. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed detailed information for disease prevention from individuals to the community level. However, even though physical health is the priority during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the aspect of psychological health is essential as well. Thus, apart from advocating better physical health during the pandemic, mental health should be treated as equally important as physical health, and efforts should put into the advocacy of mental health during the time of COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 pandemic has led to a lifestyle changing of most of the people in both urban and suburban areas. Lifestyle changes mostly based on the social distances: reduced outdoor activities, shuttled down business, and it also includes- but not restricted- to the possibility of the requirement of self- quarantine. The crisis-related lifestyle changes have not experienced by most people in the contemporary state of life, which would have an emerge psychological impact. The impact happens affectively, cognitively, and interpersonally. It increased the level of stress and anxiety, engaged pessimistic anticipation of the future, and induced the conflicts, or even violence, between intimate family members. Apart from that, it may also worsen the substance abuse behavior for those who addicted to drug use due to the comprehensive factors socially and emotionally.

To be specific, mental health issues related to COVID-19 pandemic are:

Suicidal Risks According to the Suicide Prevention Resources Center, risk factors of suicides are as follows. Previous suicide attempt(s), Misuse and abuse of alcohol or other drugs; Mental disorders, particularly depression and other mood disorders; Access to lethal means; Knowing someone who died by suicide, particularly a family member; Social isolation; Chronic disease and disability; Lack of access to behavioral health care. Due to the lifestyle-changing during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, we could assume that social isolation, chronic disease and disability, and lack of access to behavioral health care are factors that may increase the risk of suicide.

Anxiety and depression Lifestyle changes based on the pandemic could consider as a significant life stressor. It brings up the anxiety level of the general population and those with specific needs physically or psychologically. For those who received the diagnosis of Major Depression, life stressors brought by the lifestyle changes may have an impact on their medical access and emotional regulation.

Psychosis or the Severe Mental States Those who received the diagnosis of severe mental health problems are facing the impact of the change of environment, which may post threats to their overall wellbeing. Meanwhile, public concern needs to post on access to medication and psychiatric resources.

Special Population Aging population, homeless, and those with chronic disease need not only up-to-date medical support but also the psychological care and support from the community.

Interpersonal Relationship Domestic violence, conflicts between intimate partners, and family members consider as significant factors that lower the individual`s life satisfaction. Withdraw from the workplace and increased time of homestay would relate to the increasing exposure of interpersonal conflict and violent behaviors.

Substance Abuse Substance abuse (e.g., Alcohol, Nicotine, and Drugs) behavior would increase due to the life stressors that brought by the lifestyle changes. The access to the treatment option would infect by working style changes from direct interpersonal connection to the style of remote working.

Children`s Mental Health Awareness needs for children who came across the school closure. Children and parents are facing the increasing health concern, changes in the academic plan, and reduce social interaction. Notably, we need to concern with the mental health of those who have parents working in hospitals or pharmacies during this time, to help reduce their psychological distress and enhance the parent-children relationship.

Pessimistic Anticipation of Work, Finance, and Economy Working class, small business owners, and self-employers may have stronger distress as regards to the longitude shutdown of the business. Psychological distress may get worse under pessimistic anticipation of the future financially.

Advice that May Concern

Support the organizations that advocate mental health issues Donate or creating active feedbacks for organizations that doing a delicate job on promoting mental health, such as WHO or any other organization, as a way of support.

Cooperate Interdisciplinary in Mental Health Practice Cooperation between mental health professions (psychologists and psychiatrists), social workers, and public health professions are needed, with the proper facility of technology. Utilizing the online psychological treatment option and increase the accessibility of it.

Enhance the Power of Community as the Platform of Support Enhance the functions of the school, coworkers, or other communities for the psychosocial support. Provide an avenue of communication and sharing information, as methods of stress relief. Apart from that, psychoeducation and skills of stress management are needed to share between members of the community.

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