The recent Covid-19 outbreak has left many in turmoil. The turmoil that cripples Malaysians are in all sense and not just limited to a shaky economic landscape, but also entails the psychological impact to all those involved- the general public, the Covid-19 patients themselves and the Health Care Workers who have been working around the clock, trying to keep themselves together.
These critical moments demand all of us to push through our physical and psychological capacities which often give rise to psychological conditions that are associated with enormous amount of stress. The one’s limited to the confines of their home may find themselves having trouble adjusting to life in confinement and isolation or may be anxious on the possibility of acquiring the virus.
Others, on the other hand such as the patients, may be anxious about his or her prognosis. The healthcare worker perhaps is physically and mentally drained thinking about her family that she has left behind while coping with the overwhelming demands that this crisis has brought about to them in terms of workload and sacrifice of their families welfare.
In these trying times of existential crisis, Psychological First Aid is used as a rescue tool. It creates a safe channel for any individual to share problems and worries that they may face, in confidentiality. As I am working in an official Covid-19 Hospital, Hospital Sungai Buloh, my duty entails reaching out to distressed patients as well as our 3500 healthcare staffs and establishing a safe and comfortable channel for them to express their feelings. This is in line with creating a safe, supportive and nurturing environment for them. The psychiatry department of Hospital Sungai Buloh together with counsellors and other important team members have established a 24 hour hotline for anyone to contact us (healthcare workers and affected Covid-19 patients) to contact us if they need to consult us or even to vent out their problems. We are more than happy to lend a listening ear. Many have found this service to be useful and have approached us to seek psychological help in coping with this pandemic. We also conduct one-on-one consultation sessions for the many who require it. As mental health care doctors, we are trained in screening and administering Psychological First Aid (PFA).
In times of disaster or pandemic, stress can definitely get the better of us. Furthermore, human beings are social creatures, we require social interaction to maintain our mental equilibrium. It is thus understandable that the social isolation that this pandemic entails, brings along an impact on our psychological state. In such times of crisis, it is important to adopt a positive mind set and to tell ourselves that this too shall pass leaving us stronger than ever.
Mental Health doctor in Hospital Sungai Buloh
HAPA WOW Mental Health Ambassador