As the pandemic caused lockdowns and public safety measures worldwide, there was a significant increase in mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. In recent years, there had also been a growing awareness of mental health issues.
Amazon recently announced that they would be removing a product that many viewed as inappropriate—a Halloween mask that looks like the coronavirus. The masks were listed as "Corona Halloween Mask" and "Corona Latex Horror Mask" at $18.87 from Guangdong, China.
Rachel Power from the Patients Association, a charity for the health and social care of patients, said that the masks are "a terrible lapse of judgments" by those who created and are selling the product online. She hopes that people will find the Covid-19 mask "hugely distasteful."
Amazon removed the product and reminded the public that all sellers must follow the appropriate guidelines. "Those who do not will be subject to action, including potential removal of their account."
Mental Health Awareness
Mental Health Awareness Month is every May since 1949. There had been accumulating studies about the importance of diagnosing and treating mental health.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America shared that people still need more awareness on mental health conditions since phrases such as "he/she is bipolar," "I had a panic attack," or "I have anxiety" are sometimes used too loosely. Those struggling with these issues are typically cautious about the conditions they are facing.
Harvard Health shared that anxiety is associated with various chronic physical illnesses such as heart disease, respiratory illnesses, and gastrointestinal conditions. However, several cultures still label mental health issues as taboos, labeling people as "mad" or "crazy." Some traditional practices or cultural perspectives even hinder many people from seeking proper medical help.
As schools transitioned online, there was also a significant increase in mental health problems among students, such as general anxiety disorder. In the U.K., 83 percent of those with a history of mental health conditions reported that their conditions have gotten worse during the pandemic, while 26 percent had no access to mental health support, according to YoungMinds.
Psychologist Zanonia Chiu shared that the pandemic has caused students to be locked up in their bedrooms weeks at a time. Those who already have childhood depression will have the hardest time adjusting when in-person classes resume.
Coping with Mental Health During the Pandemic
In the United States, some adults have had other coping mechanisms with the stress of the pandemic - through alcohol consumption. Several mental health issues are associated with alcoholism and vice versa.
Shortly after the implementation of lockdowns in most states by March, there was a significant increase in alcohol sales online. The World Health Organization soon announced that excessive use of alcohol has negative impacts on both physical and mental health.
Many organizations around the world have also become more sensitive to addressing those with mental health issues during the pandemic. Various help hotlines have expanded services on several platforms such as apps and online meetings to meet the needs of patients.
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