NIMHANS to help patients with Covid-19 anxiety

By  Iffath Fathima| Express News Service | Published: 28th April 2020 07:01 AM
For representational purposes

BENGALURU: The  National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) has come up with a module on how to deal with anxiety and stress amidst the lockdown. It was shared with the public during a video conference. The ones who take up the module session act as peers and give immediate care to their family and friends in coping with the stress.

The departments of clinical psychology, psychiatric social work and mental health education built the module , and held online sessions which saw 1,000 people enrolled, but only 300 could be accommodated. Dr K S Meena, Additional Professor and Head, Department of Mental Health Education, NIMHANS, said, “There is a lot of stigma and misconceptions associated with the pandemicc. This can cause a delay in help-seeking and result in individuals suffering silently, and increase the risk of developing mental health issues, which lead to anger, fear, irritability or worse conditions like depression and anxiety.

We decided to bring in this module so that family or friends of the affected person can understand what they are going through, and learn immediate care skills.” Immediate care can be provided by relatives, family members, neighbours, counsellors, mental health professionals, community members, teachers, emergency medical teams, police or government employee.

Major stressors leading to mental health crisis in adults were fear of contracting the illness, loneliness, financial issues, inability to get medicines. In children it was boredom, fear of contracting the virus from working parents, worries of missing playing outside and summer camps, postponement of board exams, unability to meet friends.

Dr Meena said, “Immedate care supporters should approach the affected person with empathy, listen attentively, use virtual talking if he/she can’t talk in person, build a good rapport, encourage the person to do yoga, meditation. These will help people in a great way. “ “Looking at the overwhelming response, we will host more sessions,” she added.

Tags : NIMHANS Covid-19 anxiety

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