Mental Health During the Pandemic

By the team at Speedoc,
August 18, 2021

Ever since sweeping across the world in 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought on economic recessions, social disruptions, and have negatively impacted many people’s physical and mental health.

Speedoc Recognizes Mental Health As A Part of The Fight Against COVID-19

Being on the frontlines means Speedoc’s doctors and nurses are constantly face-to-face with the virus and the people affected by it. Not surprisingly, young adults aged 18 to 24, who belong to the college-going world population, have been reporting 56% more anxiety and depression.

People with chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid conditions, respiratory illnesses, high cholesterol levels, obesity, and other muscle, bones, or joint problems are at a bigger risk. Treating them when they are already dealing with existing chronic conditions needs special care.

The cost of treating the mental health of people with chronic conditions can also cost two to three times more than usual. By combining and helping allay the early concerns of these patients could save you a lot, not just money, but also emotional, physical, and mental upheavals.

Quick Action from Speedoc For Health Concerns At Home

Our house call doctors and house call nurses do not specialise in mental health but they are well aware of the problem's rapid rise. We are on the lookout for potential risks like these and can refer individuals and families to mental health specialists if required.

Just knowing that a medical professional is an app away helps. With a quick assessment, our medical team can raise the red flag if they think further intervention is required. With our video consultations and medicine delivery services, we hope to make healthcare more approachable and transparent.

When our medical team visits homes or workplaces, we keenly observe the environment and situations of our patients. In fact, in Malaysia, we have a workplace safety programme for employers who are concerned about the well-being of their staff. If an employee is already suffering from one or more chronic conditions but is still capable of carrying out his or her duty, the employer should ensure optimal workplace safety and culture.

Recognizing and Acknowledging The Rising Mental Health Problem

Families who have suffered considerably due to the pandemic and economic slowdown have also reported a deep decline in mental health due to job (53%) or income (32%) loss. Women (49%) with children to care for are also more likely to suffer from anxiety and depressive disorders than men (40%) with children.

On top of suffering financial, economic disruption to their normalcy, closures of universities, inability to go to work or even remote work have exacerbated the situation. There’s also the fear of not knowing what is ahead of them in the future, isolation, illnesses which may or may not be related to COVID-19, and being discouraged by negative news narratives on the internet.

In many countries, we have been in and out of lockdowns since the rage of the pandemic began. Sometimes, we have to contend with our loved ones passing on at home and not knowing what to do about it.

With some expats stuck in the countries they work in, they may be in a more dire situation as they bid their time to get back to their home countries while struggling to understand how the local healthcare systems work.

Mental Health At Home And At Work

During home or site doctor visits and screenings, patients who exhibit precursors to more serious mental conditions have, at least, a point of contact if they are worried, anxious, or depressed. Speedoc doctors can help refer the patient to professional help if required.

Speedoc is not specialised in this field but we may connect you with clinical psychologists, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, and other health professionals if required or possible.

We strongly believe that seeing a good doctor does NOT have to cost a bomb. We will continue to make house call doctor consultations and video consultations easily accessible and affordable for everyone, regardless.

Recommendations by Mental Health Experts

With the rising number of people who have reported significant changes in their anxiety and depressive disorder due, perhaps exacerbated by, to the pandemic, the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) has outlined some measures and remedies to keep each other in check.

1 - It’s A Global Pandemic Without Geographical Boundaries

The COVID-19 virus knows no geographical boundaries and we need to remove the stigma. Therefore, we should refrain from attaching the disease (and its variants) to any particular ethnicity or nationality.

2 - If The News Is Disturbing, Don’t Read It

One of the most common stressors is the consistent chase after news of the pandemic. If watching, reading, or listening to the latest news about COVID-19 is adding to your already-mounting levels of stress and anxiety, seek information only from a select source.

The WHO has important advice for people who are always all ears for the latest COVID-19 news and that is to get FACTS, not RUMOURS.

3 - Focus On and Amplify Positive News and Stories

If and when we are on the lookout for the latest updates, find good news too. Amplify hopeful stories and positive messages that uplift people who are either fighting off the COVID-19 virus or are adversely affected by it. For example, stories that humanize our positive traits like helping each other and overcoming the deadly virus.

4 - Leaders Should Focus on Keeping Staff Healthy And Safe

As the leader, owner, manager, or supervisor of your company, keeping your staff protected from the COVID-19 virus that is spreading through the community should be at the top of your list of priorities.

Beyond adhering to the latest SOPs, employers can also be mindful of uncharacteristic behaviours from their staff. Provide a buddy system, calm guidance, focus, work safety, assurance, and promote a supportive work environment.

5 - Ensure Access To Professional Healthcare Workers and Mental Health Responders

To manage urgent medical and neurological complications, you may need to act quick. Check in with them often and ensure uninterrupted access to both medical aid, support, and medication.

6 - Helping Children Understand the Situation and Coping

Primary caregivers can help children find positive ways to express their sadness, frustrations, and fear in the face of uncertainty. If possible, keep children with their primary caregivers where they can freely continue with their daily learning, activities, playing, or drawing. They need a very supportive, safe, and supportive refuge at this point.

Regular contact with their parents or primary caregivers should be maintained. At a time of crisis and constant change, familiar routines will calm them down. We should also be understanding of their worries and fears and not downplay them. The more they understand, the better they will cope.

7 - Helping Your Elderly Loved Ones Deal with COVID-19

Elderly people with cognitive decline and existing mental health conditions may also exhibit advanced symptoms. Share simple, verified facts with them and give them clear instructions on what to do to reduce the risk of being infected or exposed to COVID-19. If possible, help them reduce boredom by encouraging them to take on new hobbies or regularly exercise.

8 - If YOU Are In Isolation or Self Quarantine

There will be times when you will feel a decline in your mental well-being and you need to address them. Your emotions and feelings are valid when things are confusing in quarantine or self isolation. Focus on just facts and solutions. Believe that there is help on the way and we are moving in the right direction.

Staying in touch with your doctors and having access to both medical help and medication is one of the ways to ease your mind. Call or email us at +60 11 4166 1178 and, or download our app and our medical team will be with you in no time!