This pandemic has brought a significant impact on everyone’s mental health. Government officials should consider implementing policies aiding mental health providers to ensure that the holistic health of all is protected against the long-term effects of COVID.
Some of the possible long-term effects include the following:
- The economic crisis due to lockdowns have brought anxiety, depression, low-esteem, and distress. There are also reports that the number of suicides and mental disorders has increased.
- Essential workers and front-liners have faced several challenges due to the nature of their job in fighting COVID-19. The risks and the problems they encounter can cause them to live in worry and fear for their health.
- Various studies have shown that low well-being and mental health have tremendously affected mothers and children due to changes in their daily lifestyle and routines.
- Chronic loneliness is also experienced due to isolation because of some implementations such as social distancing and lockdowns.
The Fight Against COVID-19 and Accessing Mental Health
When responding to a crisis like COVID-19, states should consider the significant factors, such as mental health providers’ availability, the widespread problems that the pandemic causes, and the patients’ financial ability to access mental health services.
As the United States struggles again to combat COVID-19, there are growing concerns about the long-term effects on mental health. There have been reports about the increasing drug misuse and suicides related to the pandemic.
There are driving factors that contribute to the increase of mental health issues during the pandemic. Impacts of the pandemic on income levels, employment, food security, housing, and health have created adverse effects on people’s lives. Unfortunately, in early November, there were reports that almost one-quarter of the adults in the U.S. have not received the care they needed. This manifests in elevated blood pressure, psychological problems, and other mental struggles that are not immediately visible.
Also, children are more vulnerable to mental health impacts due to sudden adjustments they need to make. They experienced school closures, stress at home, and having no social activities—all of which aren’t conducive to a well-rounded childhood.
Addressing the problems of mental health by implementing an effective national strategy can be a complicated process. This is because of the various regulations existing in each state. However, it is an integral step to create access to the care of mental health providers.
This is also important to the COVID recovery of patients who have suffered from the virus’s wrath. It is proven that there are lower cases in states where people have better access to medical care and providers.
Helpful Strategies and Solutions
Without giving proper attention to the possible long-term effects of COVID-19 on mental health, the problems relevant to it will continue to grow. For instance, the flu pandemic that happened in 1918 brought massive chaos to the world. Its effects included physical disability, psychological struggles, and mental health fallout.
There are various actions that states are now taking to help alleviate the effects of COVID-19 on mental health. They should establish promising opportunities so that people and medical practitioners will be proactive in planning for providing mental health needs.
Some of the things that should be considered are:
– Evaluating the state insurance laws, making sure that adequate mental health treatment are correctly enforced;
– Improving the pipeline of mental health providers;
– Enhancing telehealth tools and infrastructures; and
– Creating and testing plans for children and young adults to have access to mental health resources.
When selecting the best approach to use, it is vital to consider essential factors in the state. There should be an initiative to increase the number of mental health providers to serve the public better. The government should also avoid the misuse of resources—they must plan strategically while considering various possible physical and mental impacts.
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