The world is fighting really hard to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no doubt that humanity, by the grace of almighty, will overcome this menace. But will the world regain normalcy, instantly?
Mental health experts are of the view that it is going to be a long-term uphill task. Governments will have to devise a long-term recovery strategy with a focus on mental health-related challenges.
People are currently passing through a traumatic phase, and all of them are in survival mode. Nobody knows how people will shape and behave once these physical-distancing norms are lifted.
“There’s going to be residual stress, depression, certainly financial pressures, learning how to re-engage with the world in this new way,” the Global News citied Mark Henick, a mental health strategist and speaker, as saying.
The social and economic blockage will have serious short and long-term ramifications. The recent post-2008 recession recovery phase studies suggest rising unemployment leads to a jump in mental health and suicide cases. In the absence of social support, the situation could be worse.
This life-disrupting event is going to be very challenging for everyone, especially those suffering from anxiety and depression.
Our nervous system has a peak-and-valley response system, Henick told the daily. Right now, we are at the peak of survival mode, and after the pandemic, we will head towards the valley recovery phase. But the valley phase could be longer than we may think if optimum support is provided in time.
“Our mental illness can almost become an infection itself,” the daily quoted Henick saying. Elaborating further, he says that peak to valley transition isn’t smooth for all. Some people stay stuck either at the top of the peak or stay stuck down at the bottom or anywhere in between.
The Path to Normalcy
Mental health experts are unanimous in their view that post-COIVID-19 mental health is going to be the next pandemic. The baseline normalcy is going to be a long journey. Mental stress with gloomy economic prospects is going to make the situation worse.
Health experts are of the view that the government needs to be proactive in tweaking rules in favor of mental health treatment under the universal medical care. Everyone has to be very supportive, including employers, as a little mistake could be catastrophic.
Months long lockdown will have a deep impact on the working-class, and it will be difficult for them to be 100% productive from day one. So, employers have to show flexibility and compassion in helping them get back to normalcy. This is the simplest possible way to do good to someone in need of support.
It is time when everyone should be supportive of each other as we all are children of one. The invisible force is there to support us all. You can be the medium to do good to people by helping them regain their natural self.