Unintended mental health impacts of lockdown as a form of disease control
Mental health is an essential part of well-being in which a person recognises their potential, can manage typical life challenges, work fruitfully and creatively, and contribute to the community. Mental health disorders, ranging from worry, discomfort, and depression to suicidal thinking or suicide, can have significant health repercussions on individuals and public health in the midst of a global crisis. For many people, covid has been a cause of significant, multilayered stress. Social distancing and lockdown were the most visible action taken by the public health officials in repose to the coronavirus pandemic. But the impacts on mental health were unknown. While the nationwide were ordered to stay at home the signs of depression, anxiety and frustration were the common signs that were observed among the millennial group as well as among the elder population.
Implementation of Lockdown as a measure to control Covid-19 outbreak
Most mental illnesses were triggered by intrusive thoughts and acute stress which also caused insomnia among many individuals. While previously people could see and communicate with each other, got suddenly stopped from the routine lead to such anxiety disorders. In the beginning, when people were in the denial stage of the pandemic such change impacted negatively. Many people lost their jobs or faced salary cuts these consequences made it worse. Many research found that there was a correlation between the negative mental illness and lockdown during the Covid-19. Other reasons for such mental health were the uncertainties and fear that thrive among the people when sudden changes were taking place. Other factors like financial stability, food and housing, the standard of living, etc were also interrelated with mental stress. To restrict the spread of covid-19 and to reduce the cases and mortality the nations had to announce a lockdown knowing there can be other consequences. People could only rely on online communication but the uncertainties were causing unforeseeable consequences. Many procedures related to mental health care got postponed or cancelled due to the pandemic which included serious problems who were suffering from such illness and the number of new cases reported on mental illness increased. About 22% of adults in America are found to be suffering from mental trauma disorder due to lockdown. Then about 60% of people were facing symptoms of high depression.
These cases were unintended but when the cases rise and deaths also happened due to mental disorders public health officials planned strategies to improve the state of mental health and their well-being. Also, when the companies observed a lack of engagement and frustration working online, so different programs and activities were introduced to take care of the employee’s mental health and keep them motivated. The major areas focused on were:
- Wellness programs, guidelines on a health diet to support the physical and mental wellness
- Expanded the counselling facilities through online portals to address the mental health issues
- Awareness and active communication among different influencers through different social media channels to promote the preventive methods for stress and anxiety
- Improved the opportunities for socialization with the strong interconnection facilities through various portals with friends and relatives
- Many people kept pets to improve their mental health
- Gradually when the cases were getting under control maintaining social distancing norms access to the neighbourhood malls and parks was allowed.
- Many online physical activity sessions were made free and accessible to cope with mental health especially for the teenagers and adults
- Companies introduced different other online games, webinars, and no-work activities to motivate and retain employees.
Overall, in times of great pandemics worldwide such as Covid, crisis communication could help to reduce uncertainty and anxiety while also encouraging a united front against health risks. Although there has yet to be a unilateral communication or national solution, health specialists and media professionals are taking responsibility to step up by putting a stop to these mental diseases during pandemics for the greater good with controlling.