The Covid 19 pandemic has had very serious effects on mental health

The Covid 19 pandemic has had very serious effects on mental health, particularly on people who were already frail and there will be long-term consequences on a large number of people. The emergency has also brought out all the vulnerabilities of the social and health system. This is what emerged from the «Mental Health Marathon» organized by Koncept. Throughout the day yesterday, psychologists, psychiatrists, politicians, administrators, representatives of associations discussed the theme “Mental health in an unequal world”.

“The consequences of the pandemic on mental health have been devastating – explained the professor Giuseppe Cardamome, director of the adult mental health area of ​​the Usl Toscana Centro -. Socio-health integration is necessary, services must be made open, ‘inhabited’ and participated. With Covid there has been a reduction of activity in the presence and of therapeutic continuity. Today we must overcome the physical but above all immaterial boundaries that often create bureaucratic plaster casts ».

Per Sara Funaro, Councilor for Education, University, Research, Rights and Equal Opportunities of the Municipality of Florence, «it is necessary to invest more and more mental health, because the frailties are increasingly complex, especially after the pandemic. We see it in all areas, starting from childhood. Mental health must be central, investing in facilities and human resources ».

On the same line Serena Spinelli, councilor for social policies of the Tuscany Region. The goal of the Tuscan administration is “to increase the ability to give answers” by ensuring that “people with mental health are not marginalized. To do this, we need to create a system that responds to 360 degrees ».

Particular attention must be given to young people, those who suffered most during the pandemic. Luisa Russo, director of UOC Child Neuropsychiatry and Director of the Department of Mental Health Asl Napoli 1 Centro, is very clear: «The adolescent is the predestined victim. During the pandemic, Dad created new problems: it cannot be superimposed on the school, it has been a time of ‘war’. Many teachers have reproduced the same dynamics that were in the classroom, it was not so: everything had changed. Once the container has been changed, or the content must also change ». To be closer to adolescents, it is the invitation, first of all, “let’s try to listen to them more, because they talk and tell us things”.

“Suicides among adolescents have increased and are a trauma for everyone: family, community, services themselves – he stressed Raffaele Barone, psychiatrist and director of MDSM Caltagirone -. We need a new mission and a new vision. In these last two or three years, changes have come to fruition, which were taking place, which have changed our life. Today, for example, it is the smartphone that controls us, watches us 24 hours a day ». In this context, “the value of dialogue and relationship” is fundamental.

Among the most fragile subjects there are also women victims of violence. “The pandemic – he explained, Teresa Bruno, psychologist and psychotherapist, past president of Artemisia Onlus – brought to light the critical issues of the health system but also a disparity in rights. Mothers and children felt in a cage, the request for help, contacts and interviews increased with electronic tools. Some women have given up asking for help in the pandemic because it would have been a greater risk for them and their children: think of the judicial process, which has been paralyzed. Other women who had embarked on a path out of the place of violence before Covid found themselves in difficulty: the loss of jobs mainly affected women and therefore a condition of poverty. If we want to find the good, the pandemic can teach us to be more attentive to needs and we must know how to grasp this teaching ».

Among the solutions to be implemented there is a greater involvement of communities and associations. On this, he explained Daniela Mondatore, Cittadinanzattiva has launched a “territorial empowerment” project with three pillars: “Rights-based approach to mental health; strong roots in the territories; leadership of the communities “.

The associations, he guaranteed Teresa Petrangolini, director of Patient Advocacy Lab, ALTEMS, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, are ready to take on greater responsibility: “The associations want to know more, act better, sit at the table with the institutions to talk about services”.

Source: RSS Salute by

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