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By Avellon Williams

The advent of COVID-19 has exacerbated the problems associated with mental illness. Of course, staying at home is our best defense against COVID-19, but it’s also making it hard for so many to survive financially.

Video: Covid-19 Impact on Mental Health – Depression

According to a survey conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), COVID-19 has disrupted or halted mental health services in 93% of the countries across the globe, while the demands for the same services are ever increasing.

The rise for mental health services during this period of the pandemic can be attributed to several factors; getting a bad grade, losing a job, having an argument, the inability to leave one’s home during the many lockdowns instituted by Governments to minimize the spread of the virus, and even a rainy day can bring on feelings of sadness.

Sometimes there’s no trigger at all, it simply pops out of the blues, then circumstances change and those sad feelings disappear. One major source of confusion is the difference between having depression and just feeling depressed.

COVID-19 pandemic has forced us apart, limiting our interactions and hammering the economy, common anxiety and stress build up which could tip into depression.

While these illnesses and the other types of mental illness are treatable with the use of prescription drugs, and psychotherapy; the stigma attached to mental illness makes people afraid and ashamed to seek treatment.

Having not attended the clinic for over a year to treat her depression, the following scenario is a real-life situation of a mother of 4 located in Cunupia, Trinidad, who has been affected by mental illness, depression, and her inability to cope during this period.  

Going from house to house seeking employment to provide the next meal for her children, the COVID-19 onslaught has made it very difficult for this single mother not withstanding the total lack of family support.

Single mother struggling to provide for her children /courtesy/

Food for thought 🤔….While many recognize the need to treat the COVID-19 pandemic, the person sitting next to you in the office, or waiting in line at the bank can be afflicted with some kind of mental illness.

These are citizens who, if given the proper care, can live very normal and productive lives. One type of illness must not be given precedence over another.  

If you’re feeling hopeless, if you’re feeling life is no longer worthwhile, there is hope  and there is help available. Make every effort to reach out and don’t be afraid.

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Avellon Williams

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