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Given the times we live in, I want to start publishing articles to share my knowledge and provide tools and tips that can help to cope a little better in these chaotic times. In this first article, I emphasize Mental Health, making an appeal to Public Health and to all those who are having a hard time at this time. Thank you for your time.

Mental Health in Pandemic Times

Due to the very special situation in which we find ourselves, the cases of ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, EATING BEHAVIORAL DISORDER, ADDICTIONS and even IDEAS OF SUICIDE have multiplied.

Looking the other way and ignoring this reality will not make it go away. We must call the things by their names

This is the “new normality” for many people, both young and old. It is the bill that Covid-19 is leaving, and the worst thing is that there is still no clear end in sight.

We have to add two circumstances that do not help to improve this situation:

  1. Mental illness is still seen as a taboo: let’s think that Mental Health is important and  not being mentally fit is not a weakness. It is normal not to know how to handle the situation, nobody has taught us to live a situation like this, it is an exceptional situation where we need exceptional measures. Seeing a psychologist or a psychiatrist does not mean that you are crazy. Let’s remove that stigma and look for solutions. Let’s turn the tables, let’s think that seeking help, doing something, is a sign of courage, not weakness. Let’s be honest and intelligent: let’s recognize that we have a problem and that we have not known how to solve it so far without help. Seek the complicity of a professional. If you have been having knee problems for a week, you go to a physiotherapist… Why not to a psychologist when you have not been well for years?
  2. Mental Health is not a privilege, it is a right: The pandemic is doubling the demand for mental health professionals. Even so,  Mental Health it is still the “ugly duckling” of Public Health Care and Spain faces a great challenge to ensure  the protection we give to our mind  could match the protection we give to our body.

Currently, much of the burden of care for mental health problems falls on a private health service that not all those affected can afford.

Two almost contradictory currents of thought coexist: on the one hand: “Shhhh, what will they say if I go to the psychologist, shut up, don’t say anything” and on the other hand “We need more investment in mental health in the Health Service”.

Meanwhile, the alarming numbers continue to increase: 41.9% of the population has had “sleep problems”, while more than half of the citizens – 51.9% – confess to feeling “tired or with little energy.”

(Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas (CIS), between February 19 and 25, 2021).

Another study by the National Council of Psychology has also warned that 40% of those surveyed had moderate and severe symptoms of depression, and another 30% had anxiety problems. The case of healthcare workers on the front line of the fight against the pandemic is also very worrying; half of them may have post-traumatic stress disorder and almost a third have considered leaving the profession in recent months.

It is also surprising that it is increasingly teenagers who are coming forward for help despite the fact that at the beginning of the pandemic they were the ones who adapted best to the situation. It is difficult for them to meet their basic needs such as socializing and fulfilling their academic activity effectively.

Social isolation, online or semi face-to-face teaching and fear of contagion create a lot of stress, anxiety and depression among adolescents and pre-adolescents. Among girls, anxiety and depression disorders stand out, as well as those related to eating. Behavioral and consumption problems are more common among them. What is the reason? They spend more time on social networks, playing video games instead of spending the day outside with their friends, playing or practicing sports.

Adults may have more resources, yes, but that doesn’t mean they are having a better time. They face economic problems, unemployment, uncertainty, fear of contagion and isolation.

An important note here: if you have to cry, you cry. Nor should we make a big effort to hide the situation from the children. Let us teach them to express emotions because we are all human. Emotional intelligence teaches to recognize the emotion, to feel it and tries to make us take small steps to solve the problems that may arise. Let’s teach this process to young people.

Now more than ever, since we have more time to spend with our children. There must be something positive about the pandemic, right?

I reiterate: asking for help is a brave thing to do.

We professionals, in turn, will dedicate ourselves to ask for help from the Health Department so that there will be more opportunities to treat all the people who need it fairly.

For any questions, do not hesitate to contact me, it will be a pleasure to help.

Have a wonderful dayLogotipo Marisa Richelle

Train your MINDSET to SHINE- 

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