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According to World Health Organization (2020), mental health consist of the psychological, emotional, and social well-being of the people. Mental health is a crucial aspect to know at every stage of life from childhood to old age. As per the research studies, mental illness is characterized as numerous mental health conditions influencing thinking patterns, behaviours, and mood. Some examples of mental illness include schizophrenia, addictive behaviors, anxiety & personality disorders, and depression (Barton and Rogerson, 2017). Studies have shown that the cause of the mental disorder is not known but the researchers suggest some factors of combination such as psychological, trauma, heredity, environmental stress, and biology.
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As described by Talevi et al (2020), mental health comprises one’s psychological, emotional, and social wellbeing, and has impact on the way a person thinks, act, or feel. Moreover, it also aid in determining how individuals handling stresses, choices, and relations.
According to Barton and Rogerson (2017), mental health plays a significant role in one's life to stay positive, productive, and cope with daily stress in life. Good mental health affects physical health that increases the percentage of the productive capacity of an individual. It enables an individual to recover fast from health injuries. According to Serafini et al (2020), mental health affects one's energy levels, making the individual feel tired and increasing anxiety & depression.
In the very first year of this global pandemic, there was a spike of 25% in the anxiety and depression cases globally (Moreno et al., 2020).
As per the viewpoints of Kumar and Nayar, (2021) stated that COVID-19 has impacted the mental health of people that has caused loneliness, insomnia, depression, anxiety, insomnia, harmful alcohol, and suicidal behavior. Research studies like Kumar and Nayar (2021) and Ho, Chee, and Ho (2020) have shown that the pandemic affects the lifestyle of people including their mental health such as work, lack of sleep, and diet. These studies have found out that mental health problems impact an individual's concentration, mental ability, optimizing, dependability hinders one's performance in the university or an organization (Kumar and Nayar, 2021). Moreno et al (2020) argued that health workers, students, employees, and other professionals have been impacted much by the current pandemic that directly affects their mental health. This has caused fear, depression, and anxiety to meet with the other person. Due to the negative mental health, it impacts on one's physical health which decreases their productive capacity (Serafini et al., 2020).
Serafini et al (2020) mentioned various psychological consequences and problems in terms of frustration, anxiety, aggression, and depression during COVID-19 outbreak. Also, Serafini et al (2020) supported the statement by mentioning that pervasive community anxiety along with generalized fear are common psychological symptoms associated with mass quarantine imposed by the outbreak. Moreno et al (2020) mentioned that the psychological responses of COVID-19 vary from collective hysteria or panic behaviour to feelings of desperation and hopelessness that are related to suicidal behaviour. In addition to this, Serafini et al (2020) also stated that other health-related actions might be affected by abnormally increased depression and anxiety. Furthermore, fear, anxiety, confusion, numbness, and insomnia have also been determined as the additional psychological consequences of quarantine. Ho, Chee, and Ho (2020) also stated that the long-term impacts of COVID-19 infection on mental health are yet to be studied but it is evident that people have faced dysfunctional psychological effects on the psychological health of individuals.
The research concluded that devising community-based measures to assist psychologically susceptible people during the crisis is essential. The psychological influence of anxiety inflicted by the outbreak the COVID-19 needs to be clearly identified as the priority for the public health workers.
Just because COVID-19 pandemic is a global mental health emergency, there has been a rapid increase in the demand of healthcare services. Even the developed countries around the world have struggled to arrange for manpower and necessary resources to deal with COVID-19 and its consequences (Serafini et al., 2020). As a result of which, healthcare providers are excessively work laden and leading to burnouts. To top this all off, when they come into direct contact with COVID-19 positive patients, they have to isolate themselves to safeguard their family, leading to depression and frustration (Ho, Chee, and Ho, 2020).
Emotional disturbance, physical anxiety, tiredness, fear, and sleep deprivation are also rising among health workers as a result of social isolation, workload, and prejudice. In a recent study conducted on 1563 health professionals, it was determined that 50.7% of the participants shown symptoms of depressions, 44.7% had anxiety, and nearly 36% of them had sleep disorders (Ho et al., 2020). In addition to this, there are lack of services to provide counselling and mental evaluation for suicidal behaviour, anxiety, depression, and sadness for healthcare workers who have served the infected person (World Health Organisation, 2020).
Serafini et al (2020) mentioned certain particular preventive measures that can be implemented at the community level to deal with the mental health issues of COVID-19, such as establishing effective communication, facilitating proper psychological assistance to dampen the psychological and mental health consequences of COVID-19 outbreak. Moreno et al (2020) outlined that the health education requires to be improved and digital technology should be brought in use. These may include online platforms to educate community to eradicate the social stigma and discrimination to concretize the emotions of uncertainty in the times of social crisis. Serafini et al (2020) highlighted that the hospitals protocols associated with the effective and early management of emergencies related to mental health emergency need to be devised while healthcare workers to be provided with safe and protective facilities.
Marginalized groups, such as the elderly or individuals with mental health issues, should be able to actively engage with clinical psychotherapists in order to diagnose warning symptoms quickly. Finally, telemedicine should be effectively used, particularly in areas where mental health services are severely hampered and underserved by lockdown restrictions and pandemic outbreaks (Serafini et al., 2020). Psychiatrists should be able to recognize symptoms associated with an early psychiatric crisis, as well as the necessity for successful interventions based on personalization and the monitoring of adverse drug responses associated with psychoactive drugs (Barton and Rogerson, 2017).
Mental illness has always been present in the society since ages but it got highlighted during COVID-19 when mass isolation occurred. Schizophrenia, depression, addictive behaviors, anxiety & personality disorders are some common examples of mental health issues. Studies have shown that the cause of the mental disorder is yet to discover. However, preventive measures like education, better preventive measures, and policies can play a significant role in dealing with the mental issues.
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