A legislator on Thursday advised people cooped up in their homes due to the enhanced community quarantine to take stock of themselves and to take care of their mental health.
“Aside from physically guarding one’s body to prevent infection from Covid-19, people should also take serious effort to take care of their mental health during the enhanced community quarantine period,” San Jose del Monte City Rep. Florida Robes said.
“Anxiety and depression are on the rise because of the social distancing and enhanced community quarantine,” Robes said.
Robes, chairperson of the House committee on people’s participation, added: “there is a lot of anxiety, fear and confusion at this time over our loved ones, our jobs, and all of us are affected. These conditions are more pronounced for those experiencing mental health problems even before the Chinese virus hit the country,” Robes said.
Robes, an advocate for mental health, is the country’s ambassador of Sunfull Foundation Internet Peace Movement, a Korean nongovernment organization that promotes mental health and fight against cyber-bullying.
She explained that during “this period of enhanced quarantine and social distancing, everyone at a certain point experiences mental and psychological challenges because of the many uncertainties and the physical isolation.”
Mental health professionals and addiction support groups had warned that the measures taken to combat Covid-19 pose another serious threat–people’s mental health especially for those dependent on social contact or interaction for support and treatment like the elderly and those with mental health issues.
“It is for this reason,” Robes said, “that open and constant communication with family members are important.”
“We should take advantage of the time to talk with our loved ones especially those more emotionally unstable in order to relieve the feeling of helplessness and the overall stress in these unprecedented times,” she said.
She said interactive activities such as boardgames, watching TV or movies together, jointly doing household chores, physical exercises, eating together without phones, are some of the activities that the family may engage in to relieve anxiety and stress and guard against mental health issues.
“Let us take advantage of this time to reconnect with our family and loved ones and our inner self in order to more effectively manage our emotions and face this crisis stronger than we have ever been,” Robes said.