Mental health has been the subject of debate for many decades. It is a fact that as much as we pay attention to our physical health, our mental health matters as much. Although mental health may deserve even greater priority, it controls how you think, behave, and ultimately make decisions. It has globally been observed across the board that mental health has been staggering heavily under the pandemic. Moreover, the pandemic has been a unique set of circumstances in which we took a hit from every direction.
People are anxious, afraid, fearful, and hesitant about enjoying their lives due to the unforgiving nature of the pandemic. However, it shouldn’t stop you from educating people about mental health. Here are some reasons why spreading awareness about mental health is essential, especially during the pandemic:
1. It Prevents Feeling of Isolation
No one likes knowing that they’re suffering alone. There is nothing worse than feeling isolated and cut off, especially during the pandemic. Feelings of isolation can make you feel like you’re all alone and that you’re suffering worse than others. Isolation can quickly transform itself into depression, bring forward suicidal tendencies, and keep you from cultivating relationships with the people around you. When you’re willing to talk about mental health, you’re giving an open invitation to those who need help during the pandemic to tap into resources to keep them afloat. It is only due to awareness that counselors and therapists are willing to move their services online and help people find meaningful connections again. Hence, seeking clinical mental health counseling is much better than stewing in mental health conditions.
2. Encourage People to Seek Help
Living with mental health conditions is not easy. Unless you seek help timely, it will intervene in your everyday life. During the pandemic, the government saw that the population was going through severe mental health crises, so it became essential to provide them with the help they deserved. When people know what they’re feeling and how they react to how they feel is detrimental to their health, they will want to seek help. Another vital resource that allows people to get help is online counselors and therapists. So, anytime someone feels like they’re struggling, they can immediately connect to a counselor and get the help they need.
3. Curbs Substance Abuse
During the pandemic, families got cooped together, which means there were no means of outlets, and most families no longer had reliable sources of income. As a result, symptoms of anger, depression, and anxiety began to emerge. Out of agitation, people turn to more alcohol and drugs to cope with these feelings of loss. It is dangerous not just for users but for the proximity of the children around them. Spreading awareness gives these people better outlets and coping mechanisms. They begin to identify their source of anger and try to tame it down. Suppose no attempts are made to educate people. In that case, domestic situations can escalate to a dangerous level that can often be fatal.
4. Removes Taboo
It is not easy to talk about mental health. The varying conditions are under constant scrutiny and negativity, making it difficult for people to express it outwardly. When the CDC took the measures in their own hands to talk about mental health crises during the pandemic, it slowly removed the taboo surrounding it. It allowed people to accept that it is normal to have a mental crisis and that there is nothing wrong with seeking help for a mental health condition. It is the only way to pull people out of shame. The more people repress and hold on to their situation, the harder it becomes to get out of it.
5. It Calms People Down
When the pandemic hit, there was widespread panic. People were afraid of getting locked in their houses, but there was also fear of the virus itself. There was little known about the disease, and doctors had to observe cases firsthand to deduce the symptoms and how contagious they were. Fear and panic also contribute to mental health. Too much fear and anxiety make it difficult for people to stay rational and logical. Sometimes out of fear, people also begin propagating conspiracy theories which only make things harder on everyone. Mental health intervention allows people to calm down and reason. In case someone may be having a panic attack, they learn coping mechanisms to subvert it.
6. Brings Families Closer
Families can easily drift apart due to mental health crises. When there is no fundamental understanding of what the other person is going through, there is massive friction. In some cases, out of aggravation, what starts as verbal abuse becomes a case of domestic violence. Those who are suffering from mental health problems have little to no control over their impulses. When a family is educated and learns more about the signs and symptoms, they know how to handle and manage them better. They know how to look after themselves and know how to look after their family members. As a result, there is a better relationship between family members as feelings of support and care become more dominant instead of resentment and hatred. Keeping families together and in good shape is a priority since instability in families leads to instability in social harmony.
7. Learning Coping Mechanisms
Coping mechanisms are fundamental because it gives you a way out. If you have no idea how to handle yourself, chances are, you may hurt those around you and even hurt yourself. You may also not know how to deal with pent-up energy, which can quickly become anger. Therefore, part of awareness is also giving you coping methods. You learn how to regulate your breathing, what physical activities can help you release your anger, and even the benefits of meditation. These are important because you cannot treat every mental health situation with strong medications. Unregulated doses of medicines are far more harmful than the condition itself. You can even learn about online counseling and support groups and join them if you need to talk about your health. It is essential because the pandemic is going on for an indefinite period. While vaccines are well on their way, we are still not ready to go back to society. So, it is best to learn coping mechanisms and apply them for as long as possible till we feel our mental status is in a much better position.
The pandemic has been brutal for everyone. For most people, it brought about a massive mental health crisis. The pandemic pushed people and the economy into a lockdown. However, since no one is used to staying cooped in one place for a long period, it took a heavy toll on our mental health. Spreading awareness about mental health issues helped curb these situations. People sought online help, family members began supporting one another, and it became clear that coping mechanisms are the way to go. If these measures are not put in place, not only would mental health cases have gone worse, there would have been greater instability in society and the economy due to the escalating fear and panic.