Pandemic psychological aftermath planning
Pandemic associated concerns impact on our mental health and must be considered in health planning. Stress on couples, families and those living alone has been discussed in all forms of media since Australia went into lock-down in March. The good news is that there is abundant advice and tips to be found online, radio and seeking support from a good counsellor.
How are you coping with all the stresses associated with the pandemic?
Anxiety-management is one of the most common complaints that we assist people with in counselling sessions, particularly during this difficult time.
If you are one of a couple, Imago Relationship Therapy is a most powerful way to elicit support and empathy so you can create a healthy refuge from the world’s concerns 😊
If you’d like help to strengthen your relationship, ph 0417 997 016 or email😊
Don’t become one of the escalating number of divorces worldwide.
How have marriages and families world-wide coped with pandemics?
It is useful to examine some retrospective research [rather than speculation] in communities who have come out of lock-down.
Following are some edited quotes from a well-written article on 5 June 2020:- https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200601-how-is-covid-19-is-affecting-relationships Some mental health professionals believe it could be another health crisis behind the pandemic itself. “If we do not act quickly, hospitals will soon be overloaded for requests for mental health services,” says Shroff [Hong Kong psychologist].
A study of people in Hong Kong in the wake of the 2002-03 Sars epidemic found that “one year after the outbreak, Sars survivors still had elevated stress levels and worrying levels of psychological distress,” including depression and anxiety.
Positive outcomes in mental health
But it’s not all bad news – another study found that positive outcomes also emerged, such as strengthened relationships with family and friends, with more than 60% of respondents stating “they cared more about their family members’ feelings” after the health crisis, and that they felt an increased drive to focus on mental health.
Extended Support Networks during Pandemic
When navigating conflict and strains on family relationships, people often turn to their friends and wider communities for help. But given social distancing measures, most people have also been isolated from their usual support systems and cut off from our regular coping mechanisms. “Old activities like socialising, going to the gym, eating out, are no longer available options to us,” says Shroff . “So, we’ve had to turn even more to other means to connect with people, like phone calls, text messaging and social media.”
At the other end of the scale, the younger generation is relying even more on online technologies to connect with others. And while these virtual friendships might seem like a good thing, research shows that an increased use of social media is actually leaving young people feeling more lonely and isolated.
Domestic Violence increases in Pandemic
Conflicts arising during lockdown have led to a surge an increase of cases of domestic violence. In Hubei province, the heart of the initial outbreak, reported cases of domestic violence increased threefold since the pandemic started. A similar increase has also been reported in many other countries across Europe where lockdowns have been implemented. (Read more about how digital technologies can be used for domestic abuse.)
Strengthened Bonds during Pandemic😊
Despite these challenges, the pandemic also presents people with the opportunity to critically re-evaluate their relationships. “I’ve seen people begin to re-establish lost connections, not only with other people, but also with themselves,” says Shroff.
“The pandemic has allowed my husband, daughter and I to spend much more time together,” adds Gao. “As a couple, we’ve been able to communicate frequently and as parents, we’ve been able to play with our daughter a lot more. So, I think we’ve emerged out of this crisis as a closer and more tight-knit family.” 😊