No study conducted to assess impact of COVID-19 on mental health: Govt

He was responding to a question on whether the government has taken cognisance of the mental health issues.

The government has not conducted any study to assess the impact of coronavirus on the mental health of people though a number of initiatives have been taken to provide psychosocial support during the pandemic, the Rajya Sabha was told on Sunday.

“The government has not conducted any study to assess the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of the population.

“However, realizing the impact that COVID-19 may have on the mental health of the people, the government has taken a number of initiatives to provide psychosocial support during COVID-19,” Minister of State for Health Ashwini Choubey said in a written reply.

He was responding to a question on whether the government has taken cognisance of the mental health issues arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiatives taken by the government include setting up of a 24/7 helpline to provide psychosocial support, by mental health professionals, to the entire affected population, divided into different target groups viz children, adult, elderly, women and healthcare workers, the minister said.

It also includes the issuance of guidelines/advisories on the management of mental health issues, catering to different segments of the society, advocacy through various media platforms in the form of creative and audio-visual materials on managing stress and anxiety, and promoting an environment of support and care for all, he said.

Mr. Choubey said the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru, also has issued detailed guidelines under “Mental Health in the times of COVID-19 Pandemic – Guidance for General Medical and Specialized Mental Health Care Settings”.

The government also did online capacity building of healthcare workers by NIMHANS to provide psychosocial support and training through (iGOT)-Diksha platform, he said.

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