How might we help those suffering from depression due to the drastic changes caused by COVID-19?
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-Being | By: Jonathan & Shadi
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected our lifestyles significantly since its arrival in March. There are multiple factors when it comes to discussing the worsening mental health issues that are arising due to COVID-19. Unfortunately, due to these factors we are noticing higher rates of depression and other mental illnesses among all ages in our society.
Our system map identifies these factors through a cause and effect relationship with COVID-19 and depression and further connects it to key moments of this pandemic. We explored the idea that worker burnout, isolation, the economic recession, and a lack of social support is affecting everyone negatively around the world. Statistics show that there is an increase in substance abuse and mental health issues due to these factors.
We discussed with various essential workers who are working alongside several age groups and it is evident that these age groups are suffering under the mental health umbrella caused by COVID-19. Additionally, individuals who had previous mental health issues are further struggling in dealing with this pandemic's severity.
It is clear to say that we are all dealing with this pandemic and the mental health issues that are associated with it in different ways. Yet, to what extent do we understand this barrier and what direction does this barrier push us towards in the realm of dealing with COVID-19?
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I have noticed myself, many of my friends, and family members suffer from mental health issues. This COVID-19 pandemic inspired the following idea: how can we improve everyone's mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic? Those who already suffer from depression or mental health issues have shown increased effects due to isolation. However, many cases of depression and anxiety are coming from those who are suffering financially, especially those with families. The pandemic caused a barrier to those who need care and there is not much that we can do to improve mental health during this time other than exercising, eating well, and trying to stay positive.
What inspired me to take up our HMW question? Well, just seeing its impact in my personal and social life. Mental health is something we all deal with every day, some more or less, but all closely knitted through this COVID-19 pandemic. I know mental health concerns have been growing however, I am interested to see how COVID-19 has affected this specifically and I am inspired to do all I can to help. What I find interesting from our findings is just how much COVID-19 is affecting our mental health for all age groups. Kids are missing their friends and normality, adults are trying to adjust to a virtual and individual routine, and seniors are concerned for their health. All with additional stresses, mental health concerns are higher than ever before.