As this pandemic continues and we are mostly confined into our homes, mental health professionals are seeing an increase in anxiety and isolation. The coronavirus is not only damaging physical health but mental health as well. As the fear of Covid-19 grows, the number of suicides is expected to grow. There’s already been a rise in the number of conversations related to stress and anxiety. People are also concerned about financial hardship and potentially becoming homeless. With the growing number of people out of work, worried about their health, their families, and incomes. In addition to worries about money and health, many of the things we’re doing in response to coronavirus like isolating, avoiding family and friends, disrupting our routines could have a harmful impact on people at risk of suicide. Unfortunately for some being at home means not being safe. It’s an opportunity for abusers to twist self-isolation measures to empower themselves and the result is an uptick in domestic violence. There has been a 50% rise in rates of gender-based domestic violence in India.
Many experts are concerned right now about the new social conditions brought on by the coronavirus namely, the drug users were those in recovery is in lockdown and the potential for suicidal thoughts or suicidal actions. The additional stressors that are being linked to an increase in suicides include a down economy and unemployment. The pandemic can cause up to 750 additional deaths by suicide in a year if the unemployment rate keeps at 11%. In an even worse scenario, where unemployment shot to 16% that could double to 1500 extra deaths a year for as long as 5 years after the pandemic. In times of recession, unemployment creates more anxiety, it worsens depressive symptoms and it diminishes people’s quality of living. A well-known doctor in New York who battled to save the lives of so many others took her own life. The family says she has taken her own life after describing the horrors she saw. She was fighting the effects of the COVID virus that she contracted herself. She survived the virus but it was the grueling work that took a great toll on her health. Thomas Schafer, the German state of Hesse’s finance minister committed suicide leaving a note behind in which he explained that he was deeply concerned that he would not manage to fulfill the population’s huge expectations for financial aids. On the outskirts of the national capital, a 30-year-old laborer has committed suicide out of hunger and desperation.
This pandemic we might see a big spike in the stats for the coming years and it’s very important to realize that right now people are struggling, and they can’t get the care they need because our medical system is completely overtaxed at the moment so we have to be there for each other. If you know someone who is prone to anxiety or depression or someone who has attempted suicide in the past, it’s very important to reach out to them, just to let them know that you care, that you are there for them, that if they need an ear you are happy to listen. Be a good listener, don’t tell people how to react to the situation. People are scared for a lot of different reasons; some people are scared of themselves because they’ve lost their jobs. So, it’s important to reach out to everyone and just check-in. It’s important to not be judgemental and just be there for one another. Well, we all feel wanting this whole thing to get over when it’s just beginning. But we have learned today that just talking about it with others certainly helps.
At Mitti Ke Rang, we started with a COVID-19 community support fundraising, as an emergency response to provide a safety net to families. This will help them survive in the lockdown period. We aim to directly support these families by providing a minimum wage, through transferring the same into their accounts or partner with local NGO, Organisation, Fellow, or a Volunteer and support them with groceries.
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