COVID-19 and lockdown led to severe effect on Mental Health

COVID-19 pandemic has an adverse effect on the mental health of people around the globe due to its uncertainty of eradication of the virus and lockdown situation. In Nepal, the spread of virus has been increasing rapidly with an increasing number of positive cases daily. The number of suicide cases has also increased during this crisis situation. So, far 1227 suicide cases have been reported since the starting of the COVID-19 pandemic.

21 year-old Ramila Bhandari (pseudonym) was rescued and brought into KOSHISH transit home after she tried to take her own life during this lockdown situation. She experienced mental health problem from a very long time and tried unsuccessful suicide for many times. But before COVID-19 pandemic, her condition was improving and she was under medication and counseling services. She was working as a receptionist in an office and was happy with her job. She was recovering but the crisis situation changed everything. She used to stay alone in a rented room in Kathmandu. The lockdown situation added loneliness in her life. She was confined to stay alone in the room which triggered her condition and she again tried to take her own life. After 48 hours of supervision in the hospital she was brought into transit home for short term psychosocial support and care.

In the initial days, Ramila was quiet and detached from everyone in the transit home. With the proper care and support in the transit home, she started opening up and engaging in therapeutic activities at the transit home. She is under psychiatric care and psychological support at the transit home. Her mental health condition is gradually improving. She is only one of the many people who are experiencing mental health problems during this crisis situation but still it is the most neglected area in the health sector. This is a serious issue which needed to be addressed and emphasized by the government.