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Treating mental illnesses amid COVID-19 Updated: 2021-04-22 14:44:31 KST

As the coronavirus stops us from meeting others or living a normal life, many people are feeling more anxious, gloomy or even depressed.
So, to help people better take care of their mental health, Yongin Mental Hospital held a symposium on Wednesday to have experts share their experiences of dealing with patients.

"More people are seeing psychiatrists amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In the past, mental clinics were seen as a place where weird people would visit. But now, it has changed. Healthy people and social leaders visit if they can't focus on work when they're anxious or depressed."

The pandemic has brought many changes to mental hospitals.
Group counseling is no longer allowed and families can't visit.
It takes longer to treat COVID-19 patients with mental illness because some are not able to talk about their current body condition.
Medical staff also need to be extra careful when following COVID-19 prevention guidelines.

"When we display sanitizers, patients will eat them and be sent to the emergency room. They'll not only use it for their hands, but spread it on the face, eyes, or around the mouth making them need medicine for contact dermatitis for a long time."

The medical team tries to educate mental patients about basic safety measures like keeping their distance from others, washing hands properly and applying hand sanitizers only on their hands.
And, if patients are confirmed with COVID-19, they'll focus on treating the virus, but won't forget about treating patients' mental conditions.
Aside from the patients, psychiatrists say that we all have to look after our mental health.

"A recent survey suggests over half of the country's population are anxious or depressed because of COVID-19. Experts advise those feeling stressed to exercise, try to sleep and wake up at regular times and if needed, get counseling.
Jang Tae-hyun, Arirang News."
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