mental health, covid 19
We Care...!!!

by Dr Aparna Joshi

“I haven’t been able to meet my wife and my baby since the lockdown. I am stuck, away from them and keep worrying about their safety. Being stuck indoors, while worrying about them, I am feeling a kind of a ‘mental congestion’”(35, Male)

I needed to transfer again dwelling because of lockdown, it’s getting actually difficult for me right here. My father is abusive in the direction of my mom and I really feel helpless, that is even impacting my relationship with my boyfriend (28, F)

Narratives like these have been widespread on the iCALL helpline since March 2020 (when the lockdown because of the pandemic began), the place counsellors supply psychosocial counselling companies over technology-assisted mediums to shoppers throughout the nation. The quantity of shoppers reaching out has elevated by 103 per cent in comparison with pre-COVID-19 information, indicating a excessive want to hunt psychosocial companies. The COVID-19 pandemic made its approach to India in late January 2020. Since the launch of the helpline in March 2020, iCALL catered to 15,000+ shoppers by means of its phone, electronic mail and chat-based companies. The counsellors listened to narratives of misery actively in a protected and holding atmosphere and labored with shoppers to develop inner assets and facilitate referrals that helped cope with their issues.

The outbreak of the pandemic itself and the next containment measures have taken a toll on the psychological well being of people. The psychosocial impression manifested by means of anxiousness, bereavement, insomnia, loneliness, elevated substance use (WHO, 2020) has had additional adversarial penalties on different life outcomes akin to socio-economic standing, high quality of life and vulnerability to sicknesses, and so forth.

On one hand, the pandemic acted as an equaliser affecting most of the people throughout totally different strata of the society; however on the opposite, it additionally served to accentuate the present social rifts by adversely affecting those that belong to weak and marginalised teams akin to migrants, aged, people with disabilities, ladies survivors of violence, individuals with psychological sickness, LGBTQ people and so forth. Studies have proven that in the course of the lockdown, ladies, no matter their employment standing, bore the burden of home obligations greater than males (Chauhan, 2020). It can be a undeniable fact that there was an exponential enhance in situations of home violence throughout this era. (Das et al., 2020).

Needless to say, the complicated set of stressors skilled by people, notably the aged, ladies and youngsters, of their private, interpersonal, skilled and communal lives and the resultant misery, requires an equally multi-faceted psychosocial response. At a macro stage, this might contain preventive and interventive well being measures, financial reforms, technology of livelihood choices, steps to mitigate stigma, resumption of transportation and on a regular basis life actions and so forth. But at a micro-level, people additionally want assist and nurturance as they proceed to battle with uncertainties, worries, conflicts, losses and isolation of their private and interpersonal lives.

The outbreak of the pandemic itself and the next containment measures have taken a toll on the psychological well being of people. (Photo: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

Responding to misery: Tips, assets and obligations

Remember: It will not be `regular’ but. As we proceed to face indefinite time frames for normalcy to be restored, we should take steps in the direction of self-care very like the steps we take to cease the unfold of the virus. The first step on this route is to decelerate, pay attention to our personal feelings, and acknowledge the impression of this irregular scenario on our lives. Some responses could also be wholesome and a few unhealthy. It is essential to establish/acknowledge one’s unhealthy coping methods akin to extreme publicity to digital gadgets, use of drugs. Therefore, some wholesome methods to have interaction in self-care might embrace easy steps akin to guaranteeing consumption of wholesome meals, good sleep (7-Eight hours), some type of bodily train or motion, studying books, listening to music, guaranteeing one is ready to consciously restrict one’s time spent on-line and have a wholesome on-line expertise general. In instances of adversity practising gratitude, compassion and mindfulness-based workouts can go a good distance in holding our personal.

Resources: When coping with uncertainty, specializing in what we are able to management and what’s past our management helps. It is essential to attach group members with related assist and assets. Often connecting with a cherished one, and even speaking to knowledgeable counsellor at a helpline like iCALL (telephone: 9152987821/ electronic mail: chat: nULTA app) may also help in instances of despair. As many individuals more and more flip to social media, it can be crucial for them to seek out comparable assist and knowledge on-line as nicely. iCALL continues to work with specialists and social media corporations akin to Facebook to develop assets that help in managing emotional and social well being. Some of those assets embrace Emotional Health, a centralised useful resource hub on Facebook, Chatbots, and well-being guides on Facebook, and Instagram.

Responsibilities: As we proceed to adapt to a brand new definition of ‘normal’, let’s be attuned to the emotional wants of our personal selves and others round us as it’s going to go a good distance in shaping the psychological, social and bodily well-being of our society.


Chauhan, P. Gendering COVID-19: Impact of the Pandemic on Women’s Burden of Unpaid Work in India. Gend. Issues (2020).
Das M, Das A, Mandal A. Examining the impression of lockdown (because of COVID-19) on Domestic Violence (DV): An proof from India. Asian J Psychiatr. 2020;54:102335. doi:10.1016/j.ajp.2020.102335

(The creator is mission director, iCALL; assistant professor, TISS & Tanuja Babre Programme Coordinator; on behalf of iCALL Helpline, TISS)


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