Public urged to mind mental health in times of Covid-19

THERE is a call to take care of one’s mental health.

Dr. Faridah Kristi Wetherick, director of Saint Louis University Sunflower Child and Youth Wellness Center (SLU-SCYWC), said it is important to take care of our mental health at these times of public health threat by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

“It is beyond important because mental health issues may not be easily detected just like physical symptoms,” said Wetherick.

The SLU-SCYWC at the Home Sweet Home Compound, Governor Pack Road had at least ten clients a week before the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

“In a week, we usually had referrals of seven to ten clients a week. Of these referrals, there would be three to four teens referred for anxiety and depressive symptoms,” Wetherick said.

The doctor added in the first week of the ECQ, the Supreme Student Council (SSC) conducted an online survey wherein students will indicate their specific needs, 29 students signified the need for psychological assistance, mainly related to anxieties of being stranded and being away from their family.

The online survey is continuing and is being handled by the SLU administration so the needs of the students can be immediately addressed.

“Each week since the ECQ, our center has received at least four to five referrals via our FB page, some are previous clients while the new clients (mainly young adults) who refer have prior concerns (i.e., history of abuse, history of self-harm, relationship breakup), which exacerbated their anxieties during this time of ECQ,” Wetherick said.

The SLU-SCYWC advised the public to take care of their mental health and keep these tips in mind; be present for each other physically and emotionally. Reach out and listen when someone expresses fears, anxieties, or excessive worries; Engage in a variety of activities. For those working from home, keep a consistent schedule yet remember to find time to do relaxing and interesting activities. For those with children, have time to talk with them or do fun activities with them. For those with teenagers, monitor their online time and encourage them to vary their tasks; For persons with prior psychological or psychiatric concerns, have a phone consultation with your attending psychologist or psychiatrist if necessary.


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