Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Take care of mental health, says doctor


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As Barbados goes into its second lockdown within nine months, individuals are being urged to employ coping mechanisms that would help them through this latest period of restricted movement, set to start on Wednesday.

This admonition comes from consultant psychiatrist with the Ministry of Health, Dr Joy Sue, who said that based on evidence emerging after the shutdown in March last year, the country could expect to see some increase in anxiety and depression when the restrictions are eased this time around.

“We have experience now, based on what would have occurred during last year’s pause, on how mental health issues can come about as a result. We had a number of people who presented with anxiety, insomnia, and after the pause persons presented in increased numbers with depression,” said Sue, who addressed the issue during a nationally televised press conference yesterday.

She explained that not all people would cope the same but noted that at the end of the day, the idea is to maintain some semblance of normalcy and stability during the period especially in households with children. She also assured Barbadians that during the lockdown, the Ministry of Health and Wellness would maintain its mental health service, which would be available to those who are finding it especially challenging to cope. She further noted that during this period, exercise and the ability to express one’s emotions were also pivotal to coping with the strain of the period.

“I would like for everybody to have a plan for communication, as having someone to talk to is a good way of relieving stress. It is important to express your feelings, talk about things that are bothering you, and if you could at least find one person you can do that with, then that would be good . . . As an alternative you can try writing your feelings down,” she said. (CLM)


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