In March last year, the World Health Organization declared Kovid a pandemic and the details of those infected and the number of dead due to this epidemic have been read and heard daily. But there is another disease inherent in this epidemic – problems related to mental health. The irony is that the detailed data about it is not being made available to the general public. Active patients of Kovid, people who have recovered from it, pregnant women, youth, elderly, health workers, frontline workers etc. are also included in the scope of mental stress during the Corona period. The depression and anxiety caused by this epidemic is also affecting fertility.
The history of epidemics also suggests that they affect human mental health in many ways. It can have short term and long term effects. Lockdown imposed to prevent Kovid infection, social distance, office work from home, closure of school-college, migration from metros, economic uncertainty, staying in homes for 24 hours, not being able to meet relatives etc. have affected mental health. badly affected.
Along with mental health, the irony in our country is that depression, anxiety, trouble, stress etc. come under it, which often human, family, society does not want to talk about. Society sees it as a stigma and is not ready to accept it as a disease. However, during the Corona era, there has been a debate on many aspects of mental health and there is a need to work towards spreading awareness about this within the society. According to an international research report recently published in a prestigious health journal, mental problems in youth doubled during the Corona period. Before the epidemic, only one in 10 youth had symptoms of depression and anxiety, but in this epidemic, one out of every four youth suffered from depression and one in five youth suffered from anxiety and irritability. Epidemics can have short-term and long-term effects on adolescents’ behavior and mental health. Efforts should be made to provide them better counseling and treatment related services.
To deal with such crisis in future, just as the government is making plans to expand and improve the quality of services in hospitals, similarly there is a need to strengthen the existing infrastructure related to mental health of the people and create new infrastructure. . By the way, the Government of India had implemented the National Mental Health Policy on 10 October 2014. Its objective is to provide mental services to people suffering from mental diseases. The Ministry of National Health and Family Welfare, within a week of the announcement of the nationwide lockdown last year, i.e. on March 29, 2020, issued a helpline number to provide psychological and social help to the people and gave a message that it should be provided with the help of its people. Mental health is also a concern. Made an effort which is much needed in this epidemic, but this helpline does not see much spread. All the organizations working on this issue should work together in this regard, so that more and more people can come to know about this helpline. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare uploads videos full of information like vaccine talks on internet media so that right information reaches people, they stay away from rumors and keep themselves safe from covid. These efforts are also commendable.
Even today, the fear of Kovid vaccination remains a major challenge before the government, especially among the tribals. There are many apprehensions about vaccination among various tribal groups and its impact on their mental health. They are running away from vaccination. In this context, UNICEF and the Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi have recently taken an initiative under which research has started on the anthropological aspect of vaccination fears among the tribal population. Delhi University’s Vice-Chancellor Dr. PC Joshi believes that the apprehension of the tribals in this regard should not be called a stubborn stand. There may be some belief inherent in his reaction, there may be some false belief also. The Department of Anthropology can help understand all this.
In fact, due to natural calamities, epidemics, the problems and their wounds continue to trouble human beings and society for a very long time. Governments also face many problems, but the psychological aspect is not involved in it. But there is a psychological impact on the beneficiary, his close and the society. The government should focus on making efficient plans for the mental rehabilitation of the needy people.
In the era of pandemic that has been going on for the last one and a half years, the problem of mental health is increasing due to circumstantial reasons, which needs to be understood and resolved.