Giving Compass’ Take:
• The COVID-19 pandemic will have a lasting and significant impact on mental health around the globe. Fortunately, philanthropy can play a role in scaling community-based interventions.
• How are you using your charitable dollars to respond to ongoing mental health issues brought on by COVID-19?
• Read more on how donors can address mental health during the crisis.
In the past months, measures taken to slow the spread of the coronavirus have led to greater isolation and severe financial distress for many. Researchers are warning that these measures could inflict long-lasting emotional trauma, and have an undeniable impact on mental health. As nations slowly recover from the pandemic, it will be important to ensure mental health impacts are taken into account. In fact, the effect of augmented stress in past epidemics and natural catastrophes has been proven to have long-term disastrous consequences.
This article aims to open a conversation on the reasons for increased stress and how each individual can contribute to the solution.
A survey conducted in Germany amidst the lockdown, indicated a mean well-being score of 50.7 out of 100 and many reported several distresses. For normal individuals the mean well-being score is 75.
Experience from past epidemics also indicate that this impact on mental health is likely to persist in the medium to long term. For instance, in an evaluation of mental health status among SARS survivors in Hong Kong, 47.8% experienced post-traumatic stress disorder of which 25.6% lasted for 30 months after complete treatment for the virus.
Private and philanthropic sector initiatives have a great role to play in helping scale community-based interventions.
In fact, training community health workers to detect and treat mental health issues offers a scalable model. Several non-profits have already been able to use digital tools to train health workers and could offer sustainable solutions. Project Echo creates a virtual community of learners by bringing together healthcare providers and subject matter experts using videoconference technology.
Similarly, Atmiyata has been providing COVID-19 specific counselling and training to volunteers. Strengthening such community-based models will be key to act as a larger-scale coping mechanism.
Read the full article about mental health during COVID-19 by Aadit Devanand at AVPN.
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