The Huge Impact of the Pandemic on Mental Health

Pandemic on Mental Health
Ilustrastion Pandemic on Mental Health (Source: Social Media by freepik.com)

Mental health is closely related to survival, because mental health is important to help improve the ability to concentrate and focus well and can help face daily challenges (Universitas Medan Area, 2023).

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines mental health as a state of well-being where everyone realizes their own potential, can overcome the stresses of normal life, able to work efficiently and effectively, and is able to contribute to their community. A pandemic is a disease outbreak that occurs simultaneously across an entire country or continent (Dhelva, 2021).

Human beings as socially associated beings with other humans which means humans cannot live alone, because the human pandemic has to cope with quarantine and its limited communication thereby affecting mental health.

World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of a new coronavirus disease, COVID-19, to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. WHO stated that there is a high risk of COVID-19 spreading to other countries around the world.

In March 2020, WHO made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic. WHO and public health authorities around the world are acting to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. However, this time of crisis is generating stress throughout the population. People are unable to socialize in person as they usually could because of this (Kontoangelos et al., 2020).

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, governments are helping to implement social distancing, staying indoors, and advocating working from home (Neneng, 2020).

In addition to governments, health experts and authorities around the world are working to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This includes implementing health protocols such as regular hand washing, wearing masks, and maintaining a physical distance of at least one meter from each other during social gatherings (Kwasi et al., 2021).

But the response has left quite a few people feeling isolated, uncomfortable while working from home, and lonely (Lestari et al., 2021).

In addition, these precautions are contrary to our usual way of life making it difficult for us to comply. Among the elderly, following these preventive measures can be a challenge because they have lived a certain lifestyle for many years and are not flexible in changing that lifestyle as they age (Hong & Rebec, 2012).

Therefore, they need great support from friends and family members in adapting to this new lifestyle to get through the difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic (Kwasi et al., 2021).

Previous studies have shown that seven out of ten employees experienced stress during this pandemic. Especially shown by the increase in medical prescriptions such as antidepressants, anti-anxiety, and anti-insomnia (Gavida, 2020).

People’s physical and mental health is definitely affected by isolation in the long run. Another study said that because of the quarantine, learning also switched to online lessons that have an impact on children’s psychology.

Mental health is closely related to survival, so it is important for us to maintain mental health. There are many ways to maintain mental health, such as providing briefings on mental health. The method is by conducting counseling to the community affected by Covid-19 and students can carry out volunteer activities to provide counseling on mental health to the teenage generation affected by Covid-19 (Eko, 2021).

Community Strengthening can also be a way to maintain community mental health. Strengthening communities that undergo the process of adaptation in the midst of the situation and the impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic is important at this time, by strengthening the ability of the community to live life in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

One of them is through student real work lectures (KKNM), even though it is carried out virtually. Providing information and knowledge about healthy and clean lifestyles (PHBS) or implementing health protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Another thing that needs to be strengthened is how to deal with the situation of news about the pandemic clearly, and sort out valid news so as not to disturb mental stability, due to advances in information technology and the use of mass social media that should be aware of (Tri, 2021).

 

Penulis: Zalfa Zahirah
Psychology Student, Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia

Editor: Salwa Alifah Yusrina
Bahasa: Rahmat Al Kafi

 

References

Dhelva, R. (2021). Bedanya Endemi, Epidemi, dan Pandemi. https://ners.unair.ac.id/site/index.php/news-fkp-unair/30-lihat/808-bedanya-endemi-epidemi-dan-pandemi

Kontoangelos, K., Economou, M., & Papageorgiou, C., (2020). Mental Health Effects of COVID-19 Pandemia: A Review of Clinical and Psychological Traits. https://doi.org/10.30773/pi.2020.0161

Lestari, R., & Endra, F., (2021). Mental health policy: protecting community mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. https://doi:10.4081/jphr.2021.2231

Kwasi, D., Ying, L.-C., & H. Pakpour, A., (2021). The Association Between Health Status and Insomnia, Mental Health, and Preventive Behaviors: The Mediating Role of Fear of COVID-19. https://doi: 10.1177/2333721420966081

Prasetyo, A. E. (2021). MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS EDUCATION AS AN EFFORT TO TREAT THE MENTAL HEALTH OF ADOLESCENTS DURING PANDEMIC. https://jurnal.unsur.ac.id/index.php/JE

Raharjo, S. T. (2021). PENGUATAN MASYARAKAT DI MASA PANDEMI COVID 19:  KESEHATAN MENTAL PELAJAR, 2(1), 56-70.

Neneng, N. (2020). Upaya Bela Negara Melalui Sosial Distancing dan Lockdown untuk Mengatasi Wabah COVID-19.  SSRN 2020. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=%203576405

Hong, SL, & Rebec, GV (2012). Sumber biologis ketidakfleksibelan di otak dan perilaku dengan penuaan dan penyakit neurodegeneratif. Perbatasan dalam Sistem Neuroscience ,

6 , 77. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnsys.2012.00077

Gavidia M. Bagaimana COVID-19 memengaruhi kesehatan mental dan tingkat stres di kalangan karyawan? AJMC 2020 Diakses: 26 April 2020. Tersedia dari: https://www.ajmc.com/newsroom/how-has-COVID19-affected-mental-health-severityof-stressamong-employees

Universitas Medan Area. Alasan Menjaga Kesehatan itu Penting. https://bakai.uma.ac.id/2023/04/03/alasan-menjaga-kesehatan-mental-itu-penting/

 

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