19 March 2020
By Bryan Smyth
COVID 19 pandemic resulting in increased anxiety and stress levels
Fianna Fáil TD for Cork South West Christopher O’Sullivan is asking people to mind their mental health over the next few weeks.
Deputy O’Sullivan explained, “The last few days have been like nothing we have experienced in recent times and understandably people are scared and on edge. However, we need to be conscious of the impact that all of this fear and stress is having on our mental health.
“Many people want to have as much information as possible, and while its good to be informed, it can also take its toll. People should adhere to the guidelines and information being given by the HSE and the health authorities on COVID 19. We need to make sure that the information we are getting is from reliable sources and everyone should be only taking advice from the HSE or trusted medical professionals.
“Social media can create huge anxiety, particularly when it is enabling the spread of false and often dangerous information. We’ve seen this manifested in the various WhatsApp messages, Twitter and Facebook posts which have been circulating in the last few days. None of these are good for our mental health and only serve to stir up fear and anger. It’s ok to switch off if you feel you need to.
“We all have a part to play and while the situation is worrying, it is also bringing out the best in our communities and we should keep that in our minds.
“Over the next weeks and months we need to look out for each other; call our parents, elderly relatives and neighbours and check in with our friends. Ask people if there’s anything you can do for them – sometimes a chat is all somebody needs. We all need to be minded, especially in these strange times, and its important that we look after our own needs too – and that starts with prioritising our mental health”, concluded Deputy O’Sullivan.