Since January when the World Health Organization (WHO) determined the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, to be a “public health emergency of international concern”, stress levels everywhere have continued to mount.
As WHO and health authorities across the planet act to contain the outbreak, advice on safeguarding your mental health, have been developed by the UN health agency’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Use.
WHO’s 31-point guidance specifically targets the general population; healthcare workers; health facility managers; childcare providers; older adults, care providers and people with underlying health conditions; and those who are living in isolation to try and contain the spread of the pandemic.
“Be empathetic to all those who are affected, in and from any country”, WHO highlights first, warning against stigmatizing anyone who has or had the virus.
It also recommended that you seek information updates from trusted sources only and at set times once or twice a day.
“The sudden and near-constant stream of news reports about an outbreak can cause anyone to feel worried”, said WHO. “Get the facts; not the rumours and misinformation”.
The website and local health authorities’ platforms can help to separate facts from speculation.
The UN Health agency also points to the benefits of helping others, such as by phoning neighbors or community members who may need some extra assistance.
“Working together as one community can help to create solidarity in addressing COVID-19”.