At this difficult time it is essential to take care of our mental, emotional and socio-affective integrity. If we do not address the emotional well-being of our citizens, there will be long-term human, social and economic costs with enormous consequences.
It is essential that the State take all measures to guarantee that this situation is as tolerable as possible for people. One of the
Aspects that contribute to mitigating the general uncertainty is to always have clear and transparent communication that allows people to know what is happening and why what is being decided is decided, and what is the strategy that will be carried out, step by step.
It is even very important that what is not known is recognized. Relying on a clear medium-term horizon is essential to accept the most adverse indications; we need to know where we are going to face the road.
The Health it is a whole. Therefore, we must strengthen the health system including, in this, the health system mental health and of psychological containment of the population. This encompasses a broad mass psychoeducation of the population, to promote basic prevention guidelines, develop emotional regulation skills in times of crisis, favor the early detection of difficulties and facilitate access to specialized professional help.
It is urgent to deploy these actions and this could involve, for example, the formal systems of education, communication and official advertising. Material and human resources must be dedicated and the mental health system must be strengthened at different levels.
Mental health needs must be addressed as a central element of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is essential that society has a horizon in which there is a discussion on health, social and economic issues that is carried out without sterile and counterproductive factional struggles, and that allows us to reduce uncertainty.
We are facing a global pandemic that also has a huge impact on people’s mental health.
In altruism and solidarity, behaviors are born that will help us get ahead.
Facundo Manes is a neurologist and neuroscientist. President of the INECO Foundation.