To discuss how the pandemic has affected mental health, Meghnad S hosts Dr Vikram Patel, cofounder of the Centre for Global Mental Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and of Sangath, an Indian NGO dedicated to researching child development and adolescent health and mental health.
Patel notes that people aged 18 to 30 have been affected the most in terms of mental health during the pandemic. He adds that even before the pandemic arrived, nearly 10 percent of India’s adult population suffered from clinical mental health problems, and most of them went untreated.
“Trauma is a part of the pandemic,” Patel notes. “It's the result of the toxic effects of extreme fear, uncertainty and insecurity, and helplessness on the mind.” In large part, this is because the lack of government help eliminates the comfort of certain safety nets that people need and depend on, especially in humanitarian crises.
Patel suggests fighting survivor's guilt by acknowledging its existence to channel internal anger and recreating the daily schedule in order to keep your sleep cycle intact.
Text by Urvi Dugar.