How COVID-19 influenced mental health of the Romanian population (press release)
The Covid-19 pandemic made a severe impact on almost everyone in this world. It is one of the biggest health crises in history, and it's nearly impossible to underestimate the consequences to each particular citizen and society as a whole. Apart from an increased mortality rate, the pandemic resulted in severe mental health consequences such as depression and anxiety. The impact of the pandemic on mental health became a primary concern for many countries, including Romania.
Factors of Influence for Mental Health During the Pandemic
Even though the virus itself has brought plenty of stress on its own, it would be fair to consider additional stressors that came with it. This includes fear of exposure to infected individuals, being locked away from the family, and financial difficulties.
It has always been a challenge for Romanians to find decent employment within the country. That is why many people preferred to emigrate. Those who stayed faced the consequences of the pandemic situation and witnessed an even more significant employment reduction. With a birth spike in 2019, it became hard for some families to keep up. Eventually, it led to an increased level of stress. Many couples started feeling more tension in their relationship simply because they weren't prepared for the difficulties the lockdown brought upon them.
"Marriages often fail when the couple is faced with external struggles. No one was prepared to stay at home with their family for many months. Understandably, tension starts to grow, conflicts arise, and people don't always have the will or opportunity to visit a counselor. We've seen a huge increase in the flow of clients wanting to dissolve their marriage since the pandemic started. Unfortunately, for many, that was the only option," says Bob Butterworth, the CEO of CompleteCase.com.
Difficulties in relationships, financial struggles, loneliness, and loss of loved ones – these are the factors that influence the mental health of Romanian citizens these days. Surely, it is necessary to recognize groups that are at risk – people who already have some sort of mental disorder, like depression or anxiety.
What Can Be Done?
Even though the effect of the coronavirus infection on the mental health of Romanian citizens is evident, that doesn't mean that nothing can be done about it. One of the biggest issues with this kind of situation is the abundance of information on the topic. People get exposed to more information than they can process, and they can’t be certain how true it is. In this case, it is up to the Romanian government to provide its citizens with official information on the matter.
"We are already preparing for post-pandemic Romania. If we all get vaccinated, the pandemic will decline and end," claimed the president of Romania, Klaus Iohannis. With official statements from the government, it is easier for people to filter out the rest of the information they get online or from their friends and family.
The second step to improve the mental health situation in Romania is providing people with the necessary treatment. This measure should consider people who got affected by the Covid-19 virus and those who had mental issues before the pandemic. According to Paul Harrison, a professor of psychiatry at Oxford, "People have been worried that COVID-19 survivors will be at greater risk of mental health problems, and our findings ... show this to be likely".
It is also essential to understand that different groups might require different approaches while dealing with this situation. Some individuals might require professional medical care and health assessments, while others might benefit more from learning about positive coping mechanisms.
Mental health is an important topic, especially during a stressful event like a worldwide pandemic. In this situation, the government can and should take the initiative and provide psychological interventions to improve the Romanian population’s mental health.
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