Psychological Well being Sources To Know Whereas On Lockdown

You may struggle to make ends meet because you are afraid of contracting COVID-19; You may have lost a loved one, lost a job, or are afraid of losing your current job – whatever it is, it’s no secret that the effects of this pandemic feel like a never-ending assault on our collective mental health.

For some, the impact can feel light and negligible, while for others it can lead to an almost debilitating state of depression or anxiety. In addition, it can also lead to heightened feelings of loneliness, stress, negative emotional spirals, panic attacks, other forms of psychological distress, and even thoughts of suicide.

While we don’t have readily available data on the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of South Africans, a new report from Old Mutual suggests that the number of people affected by mental disorders has increased significantly in recent years.

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They have paid 59% more for psychiatric disorder claims since 2016, and their share of suicide claims rose 24% between 2018 and 2019.

“Our overall experience with psychiatric disorders shows that most lawsuits were of major depression,” Kerissa Naidoo, chief medical officer of Old Mutual, said in a statement.

“Other claims about psychiatric disorders are attributed to bipolar mood disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, depressive episodes, adjustment disorders, and stress.”

CONTINUE READING: How to Talk About Your Mental Health More Conveniently

According to the group, most of the applicants, 83%, were adults between the ages of 30 and 50 – the prime working age. Interestingly, 70% of these applicants were women.

Since we have all withdrawn to working and staying from home with little to no physical social interaction, one can only imagine how much stronger the impact the past few months have had on the mental health of South Africans.

“While our statistics reflect our 2019 experience, we can be sure that the current global pandemic will only make matters worse,” Naidoo continued.

Feelings of depression and anxiety in lockdown and isolation can make you feel like there is no one to turn to, but that’s not true. As we have heard a million times, we are fortunate enough to live in the most digitized era in history. Among other things, this has opened up unconventional but effective channels and avenues through which one can access resources to work on mental health problems.

Here are some resources you can use if you feel like you need to speak to someone:

Talk to someone for free

The South African Anxiety and Depression Group, the continent’s largest mental health support and advocacy group, offers free telephone consultations with experienced counselors and psychologists when needed.

You can reach them here: 0800 12 13 14

Another free source of advice is Adcock Ingram’s Depression and Anxiety Hotline. Sponsored by said drug maker, this line of support provides instant help to people who are overwhelmed with depression, anxiety, and other mental health-related issues.

You can reach them here: 0800 70 80 90

If you don’t necessarily want to speak to a professional but want to speak to someone who makes you feel like a friend, there is a free service for that called Befrienders South Africa. With this service you do not have to reveal your identity; it’s there to lend a listening ear.

You can reach them here: 051 444 5691 (national line) / 051 444 5000 (Bloemfontein line) / 041 922 0068 (Uitenhage line)

In a suicidal emergency, call the Cipla SADAG Mental Health Line: 0800 567 567

Book a virtual consultation

Before the outbreak of COVID-19, virtual consultations with psychologists were only allowed where there was already a relationship between the psychologist and the patient, which has since been lifted by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). In April the legislature announced that due to COVID-19, initial consultations could take place virtually.

This is something RN worth taking advantage of. Check with your family / friendship circle to see if someone has a psychologist they would recommend, or look online and schedule a virtual consultation. Alternatively, visit the BetterHelp website. This platform will help you find affordable online consultation with a licensed therapist.

If you have COVID-19-specific concerns, Discovery and Vodacom recently partnered to launch a free virtual health platform. The platform provides access to reliable information, risk screening and, if necessary, free online medical consultations. All you have to do is register on either the Discovery or Vodacom site and follow the instructions.

Find help nearby

If you feel that your mental health has deteriorated to a point of no recurrence and you want to seek help near you, visit the TherapyRoute website. This online resource will help you find mental health services near you. This includes everything from psychologists and social workers to community clinics, NGOs and psychiatric hospitals.

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