Source:- Canadian Association of Mental Health
By Arpandeep Kaur, Tina Batra, Alonzo, Rueben

While COVID-19 poses challenge for the world, it has also caused a challenge to keep up with people’s mental health. Researchers have found out that 34% of the population throughout the world, which has any variant of COVID-19, the patients also discovered some common traces of mental health issues such as anxiety, stress, depression and in severe cases, coma as well.

Source:-Statistics Canada

One of the survivors ( cannot reveal name) shared his story of dealing with mental issues he says that his journey was not easy and he had to struggle a lot. “In the beginning of 2020, when the lockdown initially happened it took a major toll on my mental health and I realized it was going on for months and years, initially I did not realize that it was so extreme but later on I kind of realized it was turning into severe depression”, he said.

When asked about taking help, he said, “I did think that talking about my issues and sharing it with my friends can help to an extent but it really did not, so I had to approach a  Psychologist”.

Dr. Alal Siyal, is a Psychologist who works with people having mental health issues believes if any mental health related issue is diagnosed at an early stage, they can be cured, any such issue later on can cause major illness to the patients. He says lack of social connections and less socializing can contribute to mental health related issues.

“The pandemic has made it more difficult to keep up with mental health. I think people should take care of mental and physical health. There can be obstacles to that. Working during the pandemic has been difficult for us well, because we never got to meet our clients. Nevertheless, we were still able to reach people through zoom, that made it simple”, said Siyal.

A new survey suggests that people in Ontario are now reaching out for mental health support and it is unprecedented. The Canadian Mental Health support poll indicated 24 per cent of respondents have sought help for mental health challenges, compared to 17 per cent last winter and nine per cent almost two years ago.

At the beginning of  pandemic Ontarians reported that 83 per cent of people from different households never reported any such case related to the Mental health disorders. This calculation differs by 69% from the recent survey.

While more people are seeking help, fewer respondents (65 per cent) are reporting that the support they have accessed has been helpful. More than three quarters of respondents said they found mental health supports helpful at the start of the pandemic.

Source:- Statistics Canada

Surveys show a major increase in the number of Canadian adults who report symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia during the pandemic, compared with surveys before the pandemic. Some people have increased their use of alcohol or drugs, thinking that can help them cope with their fears about the pandemic. In reality, using these substances can worsen anxiety and depression.

People with substance use disorders, notably those addicted to tobacco or opioids, are likely to have worse outcomes if they get COVID-19. That’s because these addictions can harm lung function and weaken the immune system, causing chronic conditions such as heart disease and lung disease, which increase the risk of serious complications from COVID-19.

Source:- Canadian Association of Mental Health

Young adults have experienced a number of pandemic-related consequences, such as closures of universities and loss of income, that may contribute to poor mental health. During the pandemic, a larger than average share of young adults (ages 18-24) report symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder (56%). Compared to all adults, young adults are more likely to report substance use (25% vs. 13%) and suicidal thoughts (26% vs. 11%).

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major effect on our lives. Many of us are facing challenges that can be stressful, overwhelming, and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Public health actions, such as social distancing, are necessary to reduce the spread of COVID-19, but they can make us feel isolated and lonely and can increase stress and anxiety.

While more and more people are getting victimized by  cases related to Mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is now a need of an hour to address these issues as soon as possible.

Mental health and COVID-19 have always been two entirely different topics to be talked about, but here comes the truth, that the pain, separation, distress and what not caused  by the closure of the world, has led many of living out there, lost their loved ones. A lot of them can still be cured, if heard at the right time.

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