• Adyar Times

Take care of your mental health during the lockdown

The outbreak of COVID 19 and the lockdown has triggered stress and anxiety among many. With people being restricted to stay at home and the increasing positive cases with each day, many are in a state of panic accompanied by an increase/lack of appetite, insomnia, depression, mood swings, delusions, and fear.

Though everyone entered the 21-days with a positive spirit, the enthusiasm started to wane with each day. Being confined to homes without having to meet their friends or carry on with their daily routines felt like imprisonment to many. Home-makers were loaded with chores leaving them tired and exhausted. Employees who were required to lend their support from home reeled under pressure due to a change in working conditions. Senior citizens became anxious with each update on positive cases flashing on the news screen.

Ajith, a visual designer shared that he experienced a wide range of emotions during the past weeks. “I was glued to my screen for more than 16 hours a day. Despite working for long hours my productivity was not improving. I was annoyed over nothing and was feeling agitated by news alerts. I took a day off and avoided unwanted alerts in my mobile; spent the day helping my roommates in cooking and organizing things. Now I avoid being alone and stay connected with my friends and family virtually.”

People are also stressed due to the uncertainty looming over their livelihood. A section of people from daily wage labourers to part-timers; small scale businessmen to freelancers are now without jobs, thus no source of income. Murali, a freelance photographer who does product shoots and portfolio shoots, shared that he was able to sort his bills with his savings. “While many are stating that the lockdown could be extended, I couldn’t help but feel nervous about managing my living expenses without any projects.”

The Greater Chennai Corporation with support from the faculty of the social work department of Loyola College has set up a COVID-19 tele-counseling centre to provide ‘psychosocial’ support to people suffering from various conditions. The centre has a team of 80 professional psychological volunteers comprising social workers, psychologists, and mental health professionals.

“The team receives more than 5000 calls a day and provides support with regards to isolation, depression, medical queries, support for daily needs in cases of people staying alone and support for elderly,” says Xavier of Loyola College.

Their helpline number is 044-46122300.

The Tamil Nadu Association of Clinical Psychologists has assigned volunteers for every district in the state. To seek their help, call 94442 97058, 98842 65958, 99402 11077, 94493 65194, 98402 44405, 82282 01965, 94443 59810 and 93838 45040.

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