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Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo

Specialists claim COVID-19 will provoke second mental health pandemic

During the virtual activity organized by INTEC, Fabián Román, executive of the Ibero-American Network of Cognitive Neuroscience, stated that after the epidemiological issue, mental health will be on the agenda of all countries.

SANTO DOMINGO. –As soon as the measures of social isolation and confinement ordered in all countries are lifted to combat the advance of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Mental health professionals will face another pandemic, that of post-traumatic stress disorders, mourning processes, depression, loss of relationships and breakups that will cross the world population, said Suzana Guerrero, a psychiatrist and coordinator of the Psychiatry practice module in the Medicine career at Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (INTEC).

The mental health specialist assures that the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has created a challenge for psychiatrists, psychologists and experts in the area, because the population is going through different emotions in a situation in which solutions and responses are still being built. , and that generates great uncertainty.

"From the Mental Health department of the Ministry of Public Health together with the National Health Service we have been developing a series of initiatives, which have been joining the Dominican College of Psychologists, the Dominican Society of Psychiatry and the universities. To date, we have around 500 psychologists providing volunteer services, making care the first psychological aid, "Guerrero said.

He said that through different virtual platforms 4,913 psychological interventions and psychiatries have been carried out, of which 3,367 women have been impacted and 1,546 interventions in men. The events most reported by health professionals have to do with anxiety (47%), followed by sleep disorders and depression.

During the webinar organized by INTEC on the challenges that COVID-19 would have for mental health during and post-pandemic, Fabián Román, executive of the Ibero-American Network of Cognitive Neuroscience, stated that for the first time people have become globally aware of that they are social entities and have gone from being a pending duty to an urgent need.

"This is a sunami who grabbed us in different circumstances, with a different reality and in mental health we must put a lot of emphasis, because this situation is not the same for the middle class that has technological resources, someone who is crowded in a neighborhood ”Pondered the Argentine doctor specializing in psychiatry.

Román said that this situation hits different groups and that mental health policies should have different responses for each one, mainly for the most vulnerable.

“Mental health in the countries was not an important priority and today it is being talked about as a high priority; first, contain the epidemiological and, second, attend to the consequences on mental health of this pandemic. Human resources must be prepared to face this new change with respect to health policy ”.

For the specialist, more training will be needed in brief interventions and post-traumatic stress, as well as and more government-level health policies on how to prevent stress, and in many circumstances it will not be detecting pathology but working on resilience and protective factors for post traumatic stress.

This fourth virtual event was moderated by the dean of the Area of ​​Social Sciences and Humanities of INTEC, Dalul Ordehi.

Stressful life process

The clinical psychologist and coordinator of the master's degree in Clinical and Health Psychology at INTEC, Maricécili Mora Ramis, said that the population is facing a stressful life process, which has a different characteristic due to its duration and the first challenge for psychology has been to contribute to prevention policies.

"There has been this difficulty not only in social strata where people live in overcrowding, in order to understand that we now have to adopt behaviors that in a different context could be branded as pathological," said Mora.

The specialist stated that the damping element of stressful life events are the support networksoy its activation, a challenge for mental health workers and for those who are immersed in the pandemic scenario. "In symptomatic and particular terms, at first, psychological first aid was aimed at helping accept a new reality, secondly, helping anxiety not to overflow."

In this sense, Rosa Mariana Brea, a psychologist specialized in crisis, trauma and grief intervention, considered that currently a very stressful situation is being experienced that opens up a wide range of situations that can generate traumatic grief and lead to vulnerability.

Brea explained that people, in this scenario, can have tangible and intangible lossesThe first is the loss of contact with loved ones and their daily experience, and the second is insecurity and even a loss of identity and control of life. In addition, he mentioned the ambiguous losses that occur when there is a lack of connection with people who are physically.

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