Covid taking a toll on mental health, Health News, ET HealthWorld

BHUBANESWAR: Ramesh Kumar Sahu (name changed), had started a canteen in an educational institute the city in January 2020. After a couple of months lockdown started and his business came to a halt. As uncertainty continued over reopening of educational centres, it led to financial distress for the 38-year-old Sahu. Finding no other option he tried to kill himself but survived and is undergoing treatment at a city hospital.

Anand (name changed) lost his job due to lockdown. It look a toll on his relationship with his wife and the death of a family member to Covid made him emotionally unstable. Depression and severe anxiety and panic attacks followed. He attempted suicide but thanks to the timely intervention of his family members, the 42-year-old has been rescued and is undergoing therapy. The ongoing Covid pandemic has triggered a range of mental disorders starting from anxiety to suicidal behaviour.

There are organisations in the city working on mental health issues and have launched campaigns to prevent suicidal attempts by people. Experts said creating awareness on depression, anxiety, staying alert and identifying signs of depression and timely intervention can check suicides around us.

“With one person committing suicide every 40 seconds around he world, there must be many of them around us. There is a lot we can do to support our mental health as well as those around us. Taking small steps like talking can give hope to those who are struggling in life,” said psychiatry professor Dr Subhendu Narayan Mishra.

Organizations dealing with mental health said the number of cases of anxiety and depression has doubled during the pandemic. “We could avert seven cases of suicide since March and counselled more than 700 for the past one year. The number of cases of depression, anxiety, trauma and panic attacks has increased during the pandemic. Such mental conditions need to be dealt with immediately,” said Dr Anuradha Mahapatra, director, Manam Foundation.

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