The Effects of Covid-19 on Mental Health
Hi! My name is Daniel Daddario, I am a Sophomore at the University of Buffalo. I am currently an Accounting BA/MS major. I am putting my focus on learning about and providing more insight on the UN Sustainability Developmental Goal of Good Health and Well-Being. Within this topic I am going to focus my attention on how Covid-19 has affected millions of people globally pertaining to their mental health.
Mental health has reached a point where the stigma surrounding it finally has started to lift. Though, lots of the groundwork is only just being laid out. Covid-19 has stressed the importance of maintaining physical health, whilst creating precautions in order to prevent physical symptoms and reducing the spread of the disease. Mental health awareness was not and especially now in a more post pandemic phase (hopefully), put on the same level of importance as the physical spread of the disease. This makes sense, however, as we try to put the pandemic behind us, mental health issues start to bear more burden across the globe.
Personally, I have a strong connection and sentiment towards the issues of mental health awareness, especially now from the impacts of Covid-19. I have struggled with mental illness for almost three years now, highlighted by struggles of OCD, depression and anxiety. Even before the start of the pandemic, I struggled at large with health-related fears, signs of germaphobia and anxiety induced by both. Not only did Covid-19 exacerbate those fears, but it created a constant sense of worry no matter where I went. A disruption in the way I functioned in day-to-day life was created, especially with going out in public or interacting with people. Covid-19 forced millions across the globe into quarantine, and this sense of isolation and loneliness had drastic impacts on my development of clinical depression. As I become more aware about how the last three years has impacted my life, the more I take the reins finding ways to cope and ways to better myself. My question is, what is being done to those unable to find ways to cope? Or are unable to self-reflect and understand the need for help? What has been, and will be done to provide service to improve the mental well-being of people across the globe?
Creating more awareness for the struggles millions are faced with in regard to the decline in their mental health, is crucial in finding ways to better understand how to reach the UN’s Sustainable Goal of Good Health and Well-Being. Understanding more about how people have been affected mentally from Covid-19, how they are adapting to being thrown back into “normal life”, and how they have changed over this time is essential to designing goals and initiatives to improve overall well-being. Understanding the goals allows for the implementation of services and resources for those that are struggling.
I aim to answer the following questions:
- Why has Covid-19 created such a decline in the mental health?
- How is society adjusting to a shift to a more normal way of life? Is life still really “normal” anymore? What are the expectations of people being thrown back into the real world?
- What services are being provided to those struggling with their mental health? How are individuals and society coping with the struggles they’ve endured?
- What changes, if any, have created these stressors in people's lives?
- What will be done within the next 10 years to adjust people into a post-pandemic lifestyle? How will these adjustments benefit mental health?
- How can we address mental health going forward with the same attitude as physical health?