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Mental Health and COVID-19 Pandemic

Introduction

The Covid-19 pandemic is one of the biggest global challenges in the last 50 years. The virus has affected world economies, health, societal cohesion, and daily life. The mutation of the disease creates uncertainties for people, especially when knowledge about the illness is still shallow. The impacts on society, health, and the economy increase the chances of a rise in psychological morbidity. Impositions of curfews and other conditions are seen as a factor that may enable the development of mental health issues. The effects are most likely to manifest in the mid and post-pandemic phases. This paper will review three articles on mental health and Covid-19 and identify the strengths and weaknesses of the findings.

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Review of Literature

Gavin et al. (2020) illustrate the effects of the Covid-19 on the frontline workers and how resources can address the challenges. Frontline workers include police officers, health care staff, and logistics workers. The main finding of the research by Gavin et al. (2020) is that through collaborative efforts, the impacts of the pandemic on mental health can be remedied. Uncertainties created by the disease have increased the chances of emotional distress among many individuals (Talevi et al., 2020). The protocols initiated to enable movements may create challenges for some people which may enhance lead to the development of stress or worsening of existing mental issues.

Due to the economic constraints brought about by the virus, there is a likelihood that psychological comorbidities will increase. Cullen et al. (2020) note that the psychological response to the outbreak of infectious diseases determines how the virus spreads and the occurrence of emotional distress and social disorder. Cullen et al. (2020) raise similar issues to Gavin et al. (2020) on frontline employees and their vulnerability to mental health effects. Increased awareness of symptoms, work breaks, self-care, and asking for help are the prevention strategies that frontline workers can use (Culen et al., 2020). This indicates that frontline staffs are at risk and employers should institute measures to alleviate the challenges.

Adequate resources are required to manage the impacts of the virus on the mental health of individuals. However, there are not enough funds that have been set aside to attenuate mental health issues. According to Culen et al. (2020), most health organizations have prioritized testing, reduced transmission, and critical patient care, and overlooked psychological and psychiatric needs. There is a need for the development of a policy that provides ways on how to assist people and their families (Gavin et al., 2020). This is because the ongoing pandemic has a huge psychological effect on individuals and the impacts are likely to rise as a result of economic contractions.

Talevi et al. (2020) indicate the mental issues globally were mild-moderate, with a small percentage being severe. Health workers and patients affected by the virus are viewed as the most vulnerable to emotional distress. Female gender and young age are factors that are associated with an increased link of mental health issues. Talevi et al. (2020) support the idea that there should be a policy change on the integration of public mental health interventions into public health preparedness and emergency response plans. By focusing on the risk factors that create psychological distress, it becomes easier to reduce future psychiatric morbidity.

Summary of the Chapter

The consequences of the virus have spread to all aspects of society, which has a bearing on the mental health of all people involved. Loss of jobs and closure of business are factors that can result in the development of depression and anxiety. The creation of coping strategies for individuals is not enough because people have to be able to use the approaches provided. The development of coping mechanisms by policymakers should take into account the short-term and long-term objectives. The covid-19 lockdowns created isolation which impacted individual mental health. Technology can be used to reduce isolation in future pandemics.

Strengths of the Articles

The research by Talevi et al. (2020) provides the search strategy and selection criteria used to identify sources. This is essential because it enables the reader to understand the extent of the study. Provision of the search methodology adds more weight to the findings made by journal articles. It can enable other scholars to replicate the retrieval process to determine the authenticity of the information provided. Another strength is that the authors indicate whether they have any conflict of interest and offer future research directions. This is important because it can help expand the body of knowledge when other researchers follow the directions. In all the articles, references and citations are provided, which allows readers to counter-check the details.

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The study by Gavin et al. (2020) follows the procedures of research writing by offering the ethical standards statement, conflict of interest, and information on financial support. By making the data available, the authors enhance the authenticity of the paper. Cullen et al. (2020) paper also provides facts on the conflict of interest of the authors. The writers adopt three hypotheses that are central to the body of the study. The provision of strategies to minimize the effects of emotional distress due to the pandemic enhance the findings of the paper.

Weaknesses of the Articles

One of the weaknesses of Cullen et al. (2020) study is that it synthesizes existing literature to come up with findings. This means that the information provided by the paper is limited to known ideas. The research does not indicate where the information used was retrieved and the criteria adopted. This may limit a reader from understanding the extent of the study. Gavin et al. (2020) use past studies to make conclusions on the issue of mental health and Covid-19. This means that the study does not apply new data or information and instead reviews existing data on the topic. The effects of this are that the article brings into focus the issue of mental health but does not enhance the body of knowledge. The conclusions made in both the article by Gavin et al. (2020) and Cullen et al. (2020) are inadequate and should have been enhanced.

Conclusion

In summary, the issue of mental health has become a common topic with the onset of the pandemic. The challenges that the disease has brought have created issues such as stress and depression. Frontline workers such as health care staff are the most vulnerable to emotional distress because of increased workloads. Measures to curb the psychological impacts of the virus have not been created in most countries. In countries that have the strategies resources for mental health preparedness, plans are not adequate. There is a lack of seriousness from policymakers when it comes to addressing emotional distress issues. The effects of the disease are likely to last, and this may lead to a rise in mental health problems.

Reference List

Cullen, W., Gulati, G. and Kelly, B.D. (2020) ‘Mental health in the COVID-19 pandemic’, QJM: An International Journal of Medicine, 113(5), pp.311-312. Web.

Gavin, B., Lyne, J. and McNicholas, F. (2020) ‘Mental health and the COVID-19 pandemic’, Irish journal of psychological medicine, 37(3), pp.156-158. Web.

Talevi, D., Socci, V., Carai, M., Carnaghi, G., Faleri, S., Trebbi, E., di Bernardo, A., Capelli, F. and Pacitti, F. (2020) ‘Mental health outcomes of the CoViD-19 pandemic’, Rivista di psichiatria, 55(3), pp.137-144.

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