COVID 19 and Mental Health Innovations April 5 2020

COVID 19 and Mental Health Innovations
April 5 2020



During the last nearly 50 yearly of working as a psychiatrist in India and nearly 40 years of work in disasters/conflict situations, I have not seen the type of focus on emotional health that I have seen during the last fortnight.
The ‘pandemic’ has reminded everyone that they not only have bodies but also minds.

Let me illustrate the same.

On March 20, 2020, The Hindu featured an overview article by Drs.Lakshmi Vijayakumar and Thara, in an article, suitably titled, ‘ Because the Mind Matters’.

This was followed by a 30 minute podcast by Dr.Lakshmi Vijayakumar on April 4,2020.(available in Self-Care section of this blog)

Today, there is a long article about the mental health needs of patients and population by Azera Parveen Rahman, under the title, ‘ Isolation and mental health: psychological impact of lockdown’ .(available in Self-Care section of this blog)

There have been initiatives to provide ‘HELPLINE’ support to psychiatric patients by a number of States like Karnataka and Maharashtra.

Mental health professionals have reached out to the general public through the printed media on subjects of anxiety, fear and how to address the same.
The Ministry of Health and NIMHANS have brought out at least three posters ( I could only access these) and two articles for the general population on, ‘PSYCHOSOCIAL ISSUES AMONG MIGRANTS DURING COVID-19’ and ‘Minding our minds during the COVID-19’.

NIMHANS, Bangalore, has organised a series of WEBINAR sessions on a range of topics.

In addition, the initial efforts to develop a systematic way of collecting the emotional health needs of the population and define the level of care and limits of care feasible by non- specialist personnel is in progress.
More than one dozen centres have joined this effort and it should be soon active.

This project will give valuable emotional health information/interventions during the pandemic.

I have posted all of the above material in blogpost:
You will notice that the folder has been divided into three sections, for ease of access:
The COVID 19 section of the Blog with be called 3 ‘Ss’ for Success.
The posts will cover
(i) Sense Making (Scientific Information);
(ii) Self Care (Skills for Emotional Health; and
(iii) Stories (Narratives of Pandemic).

Please contribute to the blogpost, especially with ‘ STORIES- narratives of the pandemic’( section 3);
Share the educational, experiences of your centre;

Please visit the blogpost, suggest ways to make the blogpost useful towards self-care for emotional health of the population.
Thank you for your time and support.

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