MIND MATTERSMIND MATTERS
GUWAHATI: Suicidal tendency, sleeplessness, fear of ostracization in society, uncertainty about jobs and future life and various mental health issues are prevalent among the COVID-19 positive patients in Assam.
A survey conducted by the State Health department under its mental health support programme called 'Monon' for COVID-19 patients has found that while 97 per cent of the patients suffer from sleeplessness, 22 per cent of them are having mental anxiety due to fear losing jobs. About 11 per cent patients are suffering from frustration as they are uncertain about their future financial status due to the ongoing COVID-driven lockdown and their virus infection.
The 'Monon' programme was conducted by a team of 220 psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, psychiatric social workers, and trained voluntary counselors and is led by Dr Mythili Hazarika, an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at Gauhati Medical College and Hospital. The team had contacted 3,238 COVID positive patients and conducted counseling with 1,539 patients.
"About12 per cent patients are suffering from anxiety, fear and restlessness. Of the total patients counseled, 10 have developed suicidal tendencies. We have already informed the top brass of the Health department about the findings of the 'Monon' survey. Nearly 180 patients will need further counseling and psychological and emotional support.
"'Monon' is a unique kind of a programme, where the mental health professionals are calling those who might need help rather than just waiting for them to call us," a psychiatrist associated with the survey said.
The psychiatrist added that the major reasons for mental health issues are "stress over job prospects and financial issues of the family; anxiety caused by a sense of uncertainty about the near future due to COVID; and for migrant workers, whether they would be able to go back to where they have come back from."