World Health Organization defined health, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” There is equal importance in all aspects of life physical, mental, and social. To enjoy a healthy life, it is a must to care for every aspect, because all are interdependent. Let’s talk about mental health and how it can have a significant impact on physical and social health.
This year when the whole world is just coming out of the evil shadow of the covid-19 pandemic, World Health Organization gave the theme, “Mental Health care for all: let’s make it a reality” to observe World Mental Health Day-2021. This theme delegates a huge responsibility to nurses as they are the real healing angles. Though pandemic’s weapon novel coronavirus injured everyone same way to all including nurses, yet nurses have a unique spirit and power to stand, save and serve humanity. They know how to accept challenges and be ready to face disastrous circumstances and any crisis, that’s why they make themselves resilient to regain strength to work with the same dedication and commitment towards humanity.
Coronavirus gave us a biological war to keep life intact on earth. It was so drastic, and everyone contributed to this war to win. The most important strategy that we adopted to get rid of coronavirus was, ‘stay home and it worked successfully. Unfortunately, lockdown generated an unequal world, which is still shaking with many imbalances. Yes! This unexpected yearlong lockdown disturbs the economy and industry around the world along with the health system. Loss of jobs raise unemployment, lack of production boosts up prices, lack of social contacts adds more digits in data related to mental illness, loss of near and dear ones in pandemic caused loneliness to many people, unemployment spread hunger and starvation as another pandemic on our planet. In this way, the sick wave of the corona is leaving earth in mourning.
In the health care delivery system nurses are the ones who have direct contact with the community. Nowadays people have much probability to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorders due to several kinds of losses in the pandemic, nurses should keep it in mind and should plan healing services in hospitals and communities. After a pandemic like a crisis, there are chances of pathological grief reaction such as delayed or distorted grief reaction to the loss of loved ones. Delayed grief reaction is a deliberate recall of circumstances that surrounds the loss, especially on an anniversary. Nurses from all speciality areas should learn manifestations of the grieving process and plan to utilize appropriate solutions to correct cognitive response, emotional response, spiritual response, behavioral response and physiological response. Nurses should know how to diagnose the immediate problem with assessment from both subjective and objective data of the client.
Counselling may give positive results, therefore discuss feelings such as loneliness, anger, and sadness openly and honestly with friends and family members because they can play a crucial role by picking up early warning signs. Maintain hope; talk openly and honestly about the situation in an appropriate and caring conversational tone of voice. Listen attentively and show interest and if possible, share feelings about any similar experience. Encourage people to eat well-balanced meals and to get adequate rest, because eating and sleeping are the two important keys to unlock the packed mind with low feelings and thoughts.
Dear Nurses! These tiny steps towards mental health can make mental health care for all a reality.
Dr Mandeep Kaur