- The Covid-19 pandemic in India has further enhanced the poor physical and psychological wellbeing in the Indian population.
- The most affected sections are children, adolescents, healthcare workers, and migrant workers.
Along with the crumbling socio-economic edifice, the Covid-19 pandemic has left a strong psychological impact on the Indian population. With the pandemic came strict lockdown laws, social distancing, restricted mobility, financial crunches and excessive social media exposure which greatly contributed to pandemic blues. As a result, more and more individuals are now struggling with stress, panic, anxiety, depression, grief, etc.
One 2020 study alarmingly registered skyrocketing mental health issues in Indians, including, stress, anxiety, irritation, depression, insomnia, denial, anger and fear. However, specific vulnerable groups, namely children, adolescents, healthcare workers and migrant workers, suffered the brunt of the pandemic more than others. These emotionally vulnerable groups became prey to conditions like eating and sleeping disorders, irritability, substance abuse, memory impairment, cognitive abilities etc.
More adversely affected are the migrant laborers. With the widely imposed lockdown, the experienced fall in income in these economically disadvantaged groups stands at 46%. This is reflected in the reported rise of mental disorders in workers. The most affected group, however, are the “frontline” healthcare workers. They are coping with discrimination at home and work, compassion fatigue, secondary stress, development of other mental health difficulties and even suicidality. “For the last 6 months, I have not met my friends and family members. I have been in touch with them only through video calls. Everything has converged to only one thing that is ‘let’s survive first’,” said Dr. Maity, a Senior Medical Officer in the critical care unit of Fortis Hospital in Kolkata.
With time, however, things have taken a turn for the better. Government initiatives like MOHFW- GOI and Arogyasetu have been helpful in combating the psychological consequences of the pandemic. Moreover, people are also actively seeking mental health services such as therapy, medication and self-help strategies.