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They estimate that Covid 19 wreaked havoc on the mental health of Venezuelans

Eduardo Mora Rodriguez
Special for El Universal
Caracas.
– Covid-19, generated in the world society confinements, closing of schools, deaths, economic affectation and distancing in human relations among other aspects; Inevitably, the mental health and well-being of people was “seriously affected,” according to reports from the Pan American Health Organization.

According to data offered by PAHO, the pandemic and the emergency unleashed a wave of anxiety and depression that is around 25% in affected countries, and that a large part of the people with coronavirus were diagnosed with a neurological disorder. In this sense, he made a call to protect the population by strengthening specialized health services in the area of ​​psychiatry and psychology.

PAHO promoted on May 6 the constitution of a High-Level Commission on Mental Health and Covid-19, which offered to disclose proposals to reduce the impact generated by the pandemic in America. The director of the organization, Carissa Etienne, pointed out that it is time to build better mental health in the region to counteract the damage caused since the arrival of the pandemic.

Mental Health: What is it?

The American Psychological Association (APA) defines mental health as “the way our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors affect our lives.”

Authors such as Bergeret affirm: “a human being is in a normal state, whatever his deep personal problems may be, when he manages to manage them and adapt to himself and others, without becoming internally paralyzed.” And Freedman and Kaplan explain that: “a state of emotional health is in which the person is able to function comfortably within society.”

Psychological effects tend to be associated with disorders such as depression, bipolarity, schizophrenia. Nobody wants to be associated with madness, there is a predisposition of society to avoid talking about these conditions. In some cases there is no awareness of the malfunctioning of the mind, in other cases, those who suffer from it are very aware of what they are suffering from and do not want it to be visualized.

The Venezuelan reality

There are no official figures or data that allow evaluating the mental health panorama of Venezuelans since the arrival of the pandemic caused by Covid-19. The Government has omitted statements about the national mental health system.

The Venezuelan Education Program “Action on Human Rights”, of the NGO Provea, has indicated that in addition to the mental effects caused by the pandemic, 50% of the population suffers from “minor” mental disorders in daily life, such as: “ changes in mood, psychological suffering, predominance of negative emotions, stress, high levels of anxiety, sleep and eating disorders”.

However, there is a bigger problem, and that is that in Venezuela social suffering and emotional pain have been legitimized – so to speak. The program has concluded that: “society has separated psychological health from physical health, giving priority only to the latter.”
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