Mental Health and Psychological Resilience During a Pandemic

As Covid-19 sweeps across the world, it is causing widespread concern, fear, and stress, all of which are natural reactions to the uncertain situation that everybody finds themselves in.

The issue facing each one of us is how we manage and react to stressful situations that are unfolding so quickly in our lives and communities. We can draw on remarkable power and strength within us and which we possess as human beings. That is why we have the ability to respond positively to a crisis.

Laurian Ward takes the impact of the crisis on our mental health very seriously and monitors many clients in this situation while providing them with guidance. With the disruptive effects of Covid-19, it is also very important we periodically ‘check in’ on each other. Whether this is a call or video chat, we should be mindful and sensitive to the unique mental health needs of those we care about. Anxiety and fears should be acknowledged and not ignored.

What Could the Impact of the Covid-19 Crisis be on Children’s Mental Health?

This is indeed a confusing time for us all, especially for children who face an enormous disruption in their lives. Children are likely to experience worry, anxiety, and fear, just as adults experience it. With schools closed as part of the necessary measures, children may no longer have the sense of structure and stimulation that is provided in that environment. They may also have fewer opportunities to be with friends that provide social support and which is so essential for good mental well-being.

Unfortunately, being at home could also place some vulnerable children at an increased risk of child abuse or witnessing interpersonal or domestic violence. This is something that is very concerning.

Although children are perceptive to change, young children may find the changes that have taken place, difficult to understand. Both younger and older children may express this as irritability and anger. They may find that they want to be closer to their parents and make more demands on them, while some parents or caregivers may be under severe pressure themselves.

Simple strategies that can help address this anxiety could include giving young people the love and attention that they need to resolve their fears. Some important strategies are to help children find a way of expressing themselves through creative activities and provide structure during the day by establishing routines. Routine becomes more important when schools close and they are expected to work at home. Besides these suggestions above, explaining what is happening around them in an age-appropriate manner, as well as being honest about the current situation, could also be beneficial. This will assist the children to find stability during uncertain times. However, most of all we must remember that children are very perceptive and will learn how to respond to stressors from their parents who model important coping behaviors for them.