Mental health recommendations in the face of COVID-19

3 August 2020

Written by: Komal Fatima

A new national report from the University of Sydney details suicide prevention strategies.

As Victoria enters stage four lockdown, health experts are worried about the mental health and fitness of  Victorian citizens.

“A lot of people are feeling very despondent about what’s happening. We’re very concerned about the mental health and wellbeing of people [who] are in isolation and lockdown,” Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Michael Kidd said in an interview.

Unemployment and isolation have caused many Victorian’s anxiety and uneasiness, affecting their mental health.

According to a study conducted by new-medical.net, one out of four respondents are worried about getting sick, and one out of two are worried about their family and friends’ health. Half of the people were concerned about loneliness, financial troubles, and uncertainty. More than 60 percent of the participants were affected by depression, anxiety, and stress.

However, a recent University of Sydney report on suicide prevention during COVID-19, titled Road to Recovery states four recommendations to abstain or prevent psychological trauma and encourage positive thoughts during the pandemic.

These four recommendations include:

  1. Persisting with the JobKeepers scheme, to ensure economic and health relief in the form of assurance of less job loss in this devastating time.
  2. Improving education and training for young people, as a substitute for job loss. There will also be an increased focus on career development to prepare young adults after the deployment of the virus.
  3. Reduction in social dislocation, minimising community spread of the virus through isolation and masks in order to prevent further lockdowns. The repetitive shutdowns take a toll on mental health.
  4. The national budget for 2020 should provide resources into the study of mental health, through a major advancement towards understanding trauma and guiding Victorians towards a healthier mental and physical balance.

Further recommendations to help young adults during this hard time is to become familiar with various coping mechanisms that may prevent suicidal thoughts.

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Photo: Grayscale Photography of Woman Wearing Long-sleeved Top By Kat Jayne available HERE and used under a Creative Commons Attribution. The image has not been modified.