Portuguese seek mental health assistance

in News · 19-04-2020 14:44:00 · 0 Comments
Portuguese seek mental health assistance

The covid-19 pandemic has led some Portuguese and health professionals to seek help in terms of mental health, particularly in local catastrophe centers and in some central hospitals, said the director of the National mental Health Program

Miguel Xavier spoke to journalists during the daily press conference to update data on the covid-19 pandemic, during which he explained the planned and ongoing response to mental health problems.

The expert started by explaining that there are “several determinants” in this pandemic that make mental health suffer, namely fear, social disruption and confinement.

“We don't see our colleagues, the family, we had to convert to teleworking very quickly,” he said, adding: “We are confined for the greater good. Confinement brings some good things, like recovering from some things that were done in the family, but it also brings something we were not used to, which is living together, in the same place and at the same time and that causes some conflicts latent ones can become manifest ”.

Despite recognizing that all these circumstances make the Portuguese's mental health suffer, he stressed that this does not mean that people will have mental health problems.

"They may have some psychological problems, such as anxiety, concern about the future, which can translate into insomnia, loss of appetite, etc.", he said.

According to Miguel Xavier, these are “very common feelings that run through society”.

The “Social Opinion” questionnaire from the Barómetro Covid-19, from the National School of Public Health, recently revealed that a quarter of respondents feel anxious, down, or sad “every day” or “almost every day”, with women and teleworkers appearing to be suffering the most..

Almost a third reported sleep disturbances, a quarter said they felt they could not do everything they needed to do and 23% said they were always thinking about covid-19.

In order to respond to a possible demand for mental health services, responses are already planned and underway at the level of primary health care and also in hospitals.

And it should be the health centers that citizens should turn to whenever they identify a need for support in terms of mental health.

"Access to primary health care is done as usual, but a catastrophe plan is already activated, which presupposes the existence of a local catastrophe center in each health center," he explained.

And he added: “It is from this nucleus that all the guidance for people who go to health centers with symptoms related to q covid-19 is made. All cores have been activated and have been operating for two or three weeks ”.

At the hospital level, psychiatric services have also undergone adaptations, namely the creation of covid-19 units for infected patients.

Bearing in mind that health professionals who are at the forefront of combating infection may need support in this area, their own care services were created in central hospitals, where most psychiatric departments are located.

According to Miguel Xavier, several health professionals have already been assisted in these services.



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