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Prolonged COVID-19 pandemic taking its toll on mental well-being Updated: 2020-07-03 15:33:45 KST

It's been over six months now since the outbreak of COVID-19 was first reported in Wuhan, China and became a deadly global pandemic.
This highly contagious disease has threatened people's lives, hit the global economy, and has affected every aspect of daily life by restricting travel and social gatherings.
But what we cannot ignore is its impact on mental health.
The stress has been immense for the physicians fighting the disease on the frontline, the patients experiencing symptoms, and the general public too.
For an in-depth look, we have Dr. Won Eun-soo, Professor of Psychiatry at Cha University School of Medicine and Chaum Life Center, joining us in the studio.
Welcome to the program.

Hello.

From a mental health perspective, what aspects of this pandemic could be most challenging for first responders and medical personnel?

What kind of serious mental health issues can arise among healthcare workers as they continue to battle COVID-19 around the clock?

Is there anything healthcare workers can do to avoid developing mental health problems during the pandemic?

What can health systems, hospitals, and physician practices do to support the mental health of medical workers during the pandemic?

Looking at the psychological effects of the prolonged COVID-19 situation on the public, what impact does the mandatory two weeks of quarantine do to confirmed patients confirmed? How is it different for those who have not been confirmed returning home from abroad?

Some confirmed patients have to be hospitalized. What are the long-term psychological effects of COVID-19 diagnosis and hospitalization?

All of this is taking its toll on everyone's mental health, but it's particularly hard on those already living with conditions such as anxiety disorders, depressive disorders and OCD.
How can people with pre-existing psychiatric conditions like these deal with a pandemic like COVID-19?

The coronavirus pandemic has led to a dramatic increase in unemployment, and millions of people are suffering as a result of the consequences.
The stress of unemployment can take a serious toll on a person's well-being. What kind of influence can this situation have on our mental health?

So prolonged unemployment throughout this COVID-19 pandemic can act as a severe stress factor, which can lead to mental health issues including depression, anxiety, suicide, and alcohol-related problems.
On top of this, if you are someone undergoing financial difficulties, what should you do?

There are now more than 10-million cases of COVID-19 around the world and over 500-thousand deaths.
The general public cannot help but feel anxious, as no one knows when this pandemic will end. What is the best way to deal with this kind of anxiety?

Deep insight into the impact of COVID-19 on mental health, thank you Doctor Won for your comments, we really appreciate it.
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