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Experts share insights on managing mental health

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/03/covid19-coronavirus-mental-health-expert-insights/

weforum.org

Experts share insights on managing mental health
We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. By using our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our updated Cookie Notice. Peter Varnum Project Lead, Global Health and Healthcare, World Economic Forum Last week, my brother, who is a priest, said in our family's WhatsApp chat that he was considering cancelling worship among his congregation at his Episcopal church in a suburb of Omaha, Nebraska, US.

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Stay informed by trusted sources

Facts will minimize your fear. There are two sources to use for managing fear in the new virus response: The World Health Organization and your national authority.

With all the headlines of news outlets, there's a risk of an infodemic where misinformation spreads. It can lead to increased anxiety and fear.

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Always return to yourself

Many consultants have headaches and nausea when they deal with stress and emotion. There are also times when there is nothing they can do, for example, provide beds, masks, and other needed supplies.

A psychological consultant advises that you should be aware of yourself, and distinguish which emotions are yours, which are the patients, and which are your empathy.

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The effects of being isolated

Consider unexpected risks associated with the response to the outbreak, for example, poor mental health that is related to social isolation. Steps to take into account:

  • Staying connected with your social and family networks via technology
  • Keeping your daily routines as much as possible
  • Exercising regularly and practicing habits that you enjoy and find relaxing
  • Seeking practical, credible information at specific times of the day.

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Shift the narratives

Instead of focusing on the number of deaths, we need to shift the narratives to the number of recoveries.

News outlets, journalists, and citizens can help to increase hope and minimize fear by being careful of the language they use in speaking about the new virus.

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Benefits of venting

Venting our fears and concerns with others can reduce their intensity. Others may provide support and care and soother our negative feelings. We can do the same in turn for them.

We learn we are not alone and may learn how others cope with their frustration and fear, which can help us adopt those methods.

When to know the limits

Venting should not become a habit as it won't fix the problem. When to stop negative emotions:

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  • When you don't feel better, and one or both of you feel worse.
  • Young children are not there to listen to our problems, and their job is not to soothe us.
  • Talk to your doctor if you experience signs of clinical depression (depressed mood, low energy, poor or increased appetite, insomnia, and poor concentration).

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Mental Health In Today’s World

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Mental Health At The Workplace

Mental disorders that are unchecked and untreated in employees(and their family) often lead to reduced productivity, increase in workplace accidents, with a majority of the employees suffering from decreased concentration at work.

Treating mental health is not a big investment and employers can be the facilitators to reverse the grim scenario.

Employer Actions To Treat Mental Illness

  1. Becoming aware of the workplace environment and the policies that might adversely impact the employees.
  2. Learn from leaders and engage in employee wellbeing.
  3. Follow other companies who have taken necessary steps to curb mental health issues at the workplace.
  4. Understand the unique needs and opportunities of your workforce to develop tailored policies.
  5. Take practical steps like initiating training programs and facilitating the various workplace wellbeing strategies.
  6. Many workers have a stigma attached to seeking help for mental health problems and need to be educated about the process while making it frictionless.
  7. Remember that mental health is linked to everything, including physical and economic health.

Changes you may see

If and when you return to your office after the pandemic, you'll probably notice some changes.

  • The doors of the building may open automatically, so you don't have to touch the handl...

Working from home

Before the pandemic, only 4 percent of the US workforce worked from home at least half the time. However, the trend of working from home had been gaining momentum for years.

It is estimated that within a couple of years, 30% of people will work from home multiple days per week.

Continued remote work

  • Before the pandemic, a lot of company management and leaders were skeptical regarding remote work. But the skepticism will go away because companies recognize that remote work does work.
  • The economic impact of the pandemic will likely force employers to cut costs. They may reduce their rent by letting workers work from home instead of layoffs.
  • Employers had to spend money on new technology and equipment to work from home - a departure from the norm.
  • Employees themselves are also spending more money to create better home offices.