Your Mental Health & COVID-19
Emergencies are always stressful and in a pandemic it is common for individuals to feel stressed and worried. Some common responses but specific stressors particular to the COVID-19 outbreak may include:
- Risk of being infected and infecting others, especially if the transmission mode of COVID-19 is not 100% clear.
- Common symptoms of other health problems (e.g. a fever) can be mistaken for COIVID-19 and lead to fear of being infected.
- Caregivers may feel increasingly worried for their children being home alone (due to school closures) without appropriate care and support.
- Deterioration of physical and mental health of vulnerable individuals, for example older adults, and people with disabilities, if care givers are placed in quarantine or become sick and no other support is in place.
It is normal to feel sad, distressed, worried confused scared or angry during any crisis. Some common responses might included:
- Fear of falling ill and dying.
- Avoiding approaching health facilities due to fear of becoming infected while in care.
- Fear of losing livelihoods and not being able to work during isolation, and of being dismissed from work.
- Fear of being socially excluded/ placed in quarantine because of being associated with the disease (e.g. racism against persons who are from or perceived to be from affected areas).
- Feeling powerless in protecting loved ones and fear of losing loved ones because of the virus.
- Fear of being separated from loved ones and caregivers due to a quarantine regime.
- Feelings of helplessness, boredom, loneliness and depression due to being isolated.
- Fear of reliving the experience of a previous epidemic.
Wellness Together Canada provides free online resources, tools, apps and connections to trained volunteers and qualified mental health professionals when needed. The Wellness Together Canada site.
The Manitoba Government is investing in the mental health of Manitobans by offering free on-line support to address anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.Help will now be available from the comfort of your own home. AbilitiCBT is a new digital therapy program that will help with anxiety symptoms related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to register for the program.
Although it is important to stay informed, decrease the time you and your family spend watching or listening to upsetting media coverage. This is an opportunity to busy yourself with other activities. Check out the sites listed below for ideas.