COVID-19 patients might develop mental health issues

BAGUIO CITY April 15 – Local mental health experts believe that there is a possibility that individuals who were infected with the dreaded Corona Virus Disease (COVID) 2019 might develop mental health concerns.

            Ricky B. Ducas, mental health responder of the City Health Services Office (CHSO), stated that in collaboration with private individuals, they are now attending to the mental health issues being encountered by 3 COVID positive patients confined in the different isolation centers in the city.

            Aside from providing them with psychological, neurological and psychiatric consultations, he disclosed that the said individuals are also being provided with the needed medication to effectively and efficiently address their mental health problems.

            However, he admitted that there are numerous COVID positive patients who were able to recover from the virus that have alleged indications of having developed mental health problems although the same will have to undergo the necessary check-up, thus, people who were able to recover from the virus and are experiencing mental health issues should already seek the appropriate interventions from experts.

            Ducas disclosed that there were recent studies that indicate that once that the neurons of the brain had been affected by the virus, there is a possibility that the COVID positive patients are linked with some neurological concerns mental health concerns that will have an impact on their overall behavior in the future.

            According to him, the early detection of the mental disorders of the COVID positive patients will allow mental health experts to provide them with the appropriate medication and counselling for them to be able to hurdle the said challenge in their lives and for them to be able to go back to their normal way of life.

            As part of the strategies on the early detection of mental disorders among individuals, the CHSO mental health coordinator stipulated that their office had made available a 24-hour help line that could be immediately contacted by people suffering from mental disorders for their situation to be assessed and provided with whatever available interventions prior to undergoing whatever will be the recommended treatment of experts.

            He admitted that the number of individuals seeking for psychological support from the CHSO on their mental health condition had significantly increased during the pandemic that is why it is best for persons encountering some mental problems to immediately seek the appropriate interventions from the experts for their situation to be appropriately assessed and evaluated.

            Ducas emphasized that suicide, anxiety, depression and other forms of mental disorders need to be openly discussed to help people suffering from the same to heal from their current condition and for them not to be harmed, thus, people should be open-minded on the prevailing situation of others.

            The CHSO mental health responder added that free psycho-education is also being done in the barangays to equip concerned barangay officials and residents with the proper knowledge on how to handle the aforesaid situations that may occur in their respective places in the future.

By Dexter A. See