Health workers need mental help

Editorial

AS the pressure of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) surge hits the health system, let us not lose focus on the mental of our frontline workers in the hospitals.
The media this week carried news reports of hospital staff testing positive to Covid-19 and that has had an impact on the operations of various health centres and hospitals.
Port Moresby General Hospital (PMGH) has scaled down services for two weeks to re-organise its staff and contain the situation.
Staff will be deployed to critical areas such as the emergency department, medical ward 3B, isolation ward and the Taurama Aquatic Centre.
People complaining of breathing problems were turned away from clinics in Goroka town, Eastern Highlands, because of the lack of health workers as the province struggles to contain the surge in Covid-19 cases. Executive managers of the Eastern Highlands health authority were reported sick.
Health authority chief executive officer Dr Joseph Apa told The National that he was ill and referred all work-related matters to the deputy director of the curative health services Dr Tonny Basse.
“I seem to be (only) the one around here,” Dr Basse said.
Director public health Dr Max Manape was also reported sick.
That alone is already too much for Dr Basse to handle.
Good mental health is vital for a healthy life.
There is more to good health than just a physically healthy body.
A healthy person should have a healthy mind.
We all live in difficult times, as readers of this newspaper know well. Worries about the state of our safety, finances, health and other matters can take a physical and emotional toll on us.
We do not realise that the pressure we all face in our everyday life is stress.
Stress is becoming a common mental health problem among people.
Stressful and anxious feelings are common responses to a situation.
Anxiety is more than just feeling stress or worried.
Anxiety is an unpleasant state of inner turmoil, often accompanied by nervous behaviour such as extreme worrying, being fearful and unsure about things such as health, money or family problems.
Mental health is the most important aspect of a person’s wellbeing
Often times, when there is something wrong with our bodies, we take it seriously.
Just as the physical body can fall ill without notice, so too can the state of mind.
This is called mental illness; it affects the person’s emotions, thought or behaviour, which is not shared by their cultural beliefs, personalities and produce negative effects on other person’s life and their families and community.
Mental health is about the way you think and feel and your ability to deal with ups and downs.
Mental health has become a global issue especially during this global pandemic.
Mental health is an important requisite for all of us.
As we battle the Covid-19 surge, our medical workers and the support staffs in all hospitals and health centres need all the support to deal with the stress.
Seeing a colleague struggle to breathe one day and then they return the next day, the colleague did not make it causes a lot of anxiety.
Working round the clock and giving their best to save a patient with limited resources available can emotionally drain someone.
Frontline health workers deal with dramatic events every day, especially during this time.
They may not show it physically, but all effort should be made to have mental help available for any of our medical workers when they need it.

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