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Mental Health Buring a COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed individuals and families in the United States to government-imposed public health practices, most of which conflict with their daily programs. The actions imposed by the government in conjunction with the Department of Health encompass quarantine, closure of schools and some businesses, and lockdown (Galea, Merchant, & Lurie, 2020). Although beneficial, such strategies have, over time, led to a wide range of mental health problems that include post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and drug abuse to mention a few. Additionally, the ensuing devastating feelings of tediousness, prolonged anger, isolation, augmented cost of care, solitude, and job loss are linked to the rising cases of mental problems. The effects of the coronavirus disease outbreak such as loss of employment, quarantine, degenerating economic standards, and stigmatization have increased the likelihood of poor mental health.

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Impact on the United States Health Care System

Even as the international community contends with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and its detrimental consequences, the government and healthcare system in the United States are doing everything possible to control the spread of the disease. The impact of coronavirus disease has swayed different aspects of human activities, for example, agriculture, school, businesses, international travels, medical care services, and the global market. The focus of the US government and Department of Health lies in the management and mitigation of the impact of the pandemic through facilitated testing, enhanced research toward developing vaccines, and improvement of treatment for the sick (Fitzpatrick, Harris, & Drawve, 2020). Nonetheless, despite numerous measures to overcome the impact of the disease, there is uncertainty regarding the future progress of the pandemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) has articulated great concern about the mental health impact of the coronavirus disease, as well as resultant psychosocial consequences. Different measures that include quarantine and isolation in conjunction with the effects of lockdowns in the US have led to a rise in problems of domestic violence with, mostly children and women, having no way of fleeing their abusers.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in major challenges within families, in addition to other social relationships. For instance, the guidelines of restricting physical closeness to another person, working from home, or wearing masks are resulting in deterioration of intimacy and collapse of social frameworks thus worsening the psychological effects of the pandemic. Additionally, issues such as increased monetary burden, insufficient sleep, depression, and headache linked to wearing of masks have become widespread. Unexpected alterations in normal practices and customs lead to augmented stress for family members, including children whose unrestricted playing with peers, school programs, and visiting of grandparents have been interrupted (Novacek, Hampton-Anderson, Ebor, Loeb, & Wyatt, 2020). Parents are in the struggles of both satisfying the family’s basic needs while also endeavoring to make children comprehend issues around the COVID-19 pandemic without heightening their worries.

For parents who work as nurses, doctors, or other medical professionals, the conflict between their job and the possibility of infecting their family members generate incredible challenges. In some cases, there have been rising feelings of guilt, fear, or anxiety. Many caregivers have opted to stay away from their family members for a long time as a way of protecting them. Nevertheless, such practices loosen the family bond and create fear in children concerning the welfare of their parent who has unusually not come home in many days (Fitzpatrick et al., 2020). With parents unable to provide necessary direction and care to their children at a time that they do not have schoolwork to engage them, some minors have turned to the Internet. Such children use their parents’ smartphones or laptops to access the Internet where they either suffer cyber bullying or find pornographic content that leads to the augment of sexual immorality, especially amid adolescents, in addition to causing moral decadence in communities. All these practices eventually translate to the poor mental health of both children and their parents.

Public health guidelines that conflict with existing traditions such as when, how, and where to bury a deceased family member add to the mental health problems of losing loved ones to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fear of stigmatization among people found positive of the coronavirus disease and their close family members disturbs them to a point of causing renunciation of early symptoms. The lack of timely treatment worsens the course of the disease and in most cases results in death (Novacek et al., 2020). The loss of family members, high cost of care that drains family savings, stigmatization, and coercive measures enacted by the government together with the Department of Health have contributed to poor mental health attributable to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the continued spread of the coronavirus disease in the United States, it is having a negative impact on the psychological welfare of the people, especially the ones who are underprivileged. Disadvantaged people are facing incredible financial problems that have been worsened by the need for expensive care once a family member becomes infected with the coronavirus disease (Novacek et al., 2020). The increased number of individuals having mental health disorders associated with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been disregarded by the press. This is irrespective of the rising dread of an uncertain future, loss of jobs, deaths of close family members, and stigmatization exacerbating mental illness problems. since there is a possibility of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continuing for a long time, the United States government, the Department of Health, and other stakeholders should jointly implement effective interventions.

Interventions

The possibility of successfully assessing mental health needs and offering support during connection with patients in hospitals is progressively being hampered by increased home confinement. Additionally, there are reports of some people fearing to go to health facilities and some caregivers evading patients as a means of preventing infection with the coronavirus disease. Therefore, there is a dire need for increased provision of mental health services through telemedicine to counteract the impact of such fears (Zhou et al., 2020). Psychosocial assessment and monitoring should include queries concerning the possibility of other stressors such as deaths of family members, job loss, and unproductive economic activities, in additional to psychosocial effects, for example, sleeplessness, domestic violence, or depression.

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Depending on the extent of the arising effects, some patients might need advanced psychological health care and others could benefit from the measures established by the government and other stakeholders to support people’s welfare and coping mechanisms. Such practices may encompass psychoeducation and cognitive-behavioral techniques (Kumar & Nayar, 2020). Additionally, increased cases of suicidal ideations could require urgent sessions with mental health professionals, hospitalization, or psychiatric care. The government in collaboration with health professionals should enhance the awareness of essential practices for managing stress that encompass structured plans and continuation of possible routines. After evaluation of the needs of patients and their family members, caregivers should connect people with mental health disorders to the necessary professionals. The government should provide vital support, funding, and equipment to the Department of Health as a way of reinforcing the provision of quality care and tackling the arising mental health needs effectively. Adequate financing will enable the US Department of Health to acquire sufficient supplies and personal protective equipment, hire additional personnel to reduce workload, and funding research endeavors towards the development of effective vaccines. Joint operations engaging different stakeholders should be developed to meet the demands of special populace and lessen some of the negative impacts of the outbreak of coronavirus disease.

Conclusion

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed people in the United States and many nations across the globe to government-authorized public health strategies that negative influence their daily routines. Overwhelming feelings of boredom, frustration, anger, loneliness, job loss, rising cost of care, and isolation are associated with mental health disorder. After seclusion or quarantine, job loss linked to worsening economic standards aggravated by deaths and stigmatization concerning the coronavirus disease has augmented adverse mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in the US hence raising the possibility of suffering psychological disorders. The government together with health professionals should ensure increased awareness of crucial practices for managing stress that include structured plans and continuance of possible routines. Prevention practices that include increased assessment for mental health problems, psychosocial support, and facilitated psychoeducation should focus on the individuals who are at a high risk for serious psychological problems.

References

Fitzpatrick, K. M., Harris, C., & Drawve, G. (2020). Fear of COVID-19 and the mental health consequences in America. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, And Policy, 12(1), 17-21.

Galea, S., Merchant, R. M., & Lurie, N. (2020). The mental health consequences of COVID-19 and physical distancing: The need for prevention and early intervention. JAMA Internal Medicine, 180(6), 817-818.

Kumar, A., & Nayar, K. R. (2020). COVID 19 and its mental health consequences. Journal of Mental Health, 1(1), 1-12.

Novacek, D. M., Hampton-Anderson, J. N., Ebor, M. T., Loeb, T. B., & Wyatt, G. E. (2020). Mental health ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic for Black Americans: Clinical and research recommendations. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 12(5), 449-451.

Zhou, X., Snoswell, C. L., Harding, L. E., Bambling, M., Edirippulige, S., Bai, X., & Smith, A. C. (2020). The role of telehealth in reducing the mental health burden from COVID-19. Telemedicine and E-Health, 26(4), 377-379.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, July 5). Mental Health Buring a COVID-19 Pandemic. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/mental-health-buring-a-covid-19-pandemic/

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