The mental health question might have been not seen as a significant one in the first days of the pandemic when sudden lockdown measures left many confused and disoriented. However, as weeks passed by, even those who initially brushed the danger off began feeling frightened and nervous. Add to that the never-ending anxiety over the changing job market, the possibility of unemployment or partial unemployment, and, first and foremost, a very real fear of losing a loved one – and you get a recipe for psychological problems.
If you can identify with any of the above – you are probably not alone. Several worrying instances have been reported, which brought attention to people committing suicide, succumbing to alcohol and drugs due to depression. One of such tragedies included Thomas Schäfer, the German state finance minister, committing suicide, which many linked with his worries over the inevitability of the economic crash due to COVID-19, as reported by DW. Similarly, another widely covered story was of Daniela Trezzi, an Italian nurse, who killed herself after learning that she is infected with COVID-19 and might have infected others. As more cases started piling up, the trend became worrying, and the international group of suicide experts from the Lancet Psychiatry even released a report encouraging suicide prevention and greater attention to long-term mental health concerns. When it comes to the Czech Republic, the National Institute of Mental Health estimated the risk of depression and suicide to have tripled.
Here, in the Czech Republic, much discussion centered around finding easily accessible yet effective solutions for helping those in crisis. A special non-stop Prague helpline was set up to support the citizens while a peer line for working medical professionals was created to have them share their struggles. During the most recent meeting, the Government Council for Mental Health approved the National Action Plan for Suicide Prevention. New reforms included establishing special medical crisis centers in all Czech regions, providing better access to psychological support, and improving the functioning of the remote healthcare, also known as telemedicine. Dr. Ivan Duškov, head of the Strategic Project Management Office at the Ministry of Health, noted that once we leave the heat of the pandemic behind, economic repercussions will likely stay, thus posing a significant future threat to the psychological well-being of those living in the Czech Republic.
While the current uncertainty and confusion might have detrimental effects on your mental health, it is important to know about ways of seeking help and doing so, if necessary. If you or anyone you know requires psychological counseling, share your burdens with someone else via Prague non-stop crisis helpline at 222 580 697.