Mental health and poverty in COVID

“ We are here to help the community during the worst time, LB Charitable Foundation Limited always reach out to those in need”

Mental health

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, LBL Philanthropy has initiated several projects to assist those affected. Most prominently, we introduced an online counselling service that utilizes accurate and informative resources as well as experienced counsellors to provide an accessible and effective service for everyone.

The need for such services has sky-rocketed as the COVID-19 pandemic and consequent economic downturn have negatively affected mental health. During the pandemic, a July 2020 tracking poll found that many adults reported negative impacts on their mental health, such as difficulty sleeping or eating, increases in alcohol consumption or substance use, and worsening chronic conditions attributed to worry and stress over the pandemic. Moreover, public health measures such as lockdown were linked to poor mental health outcomes arising from fears of being infected or infecting others, frustration and anger with long isolation periods, boredom, inadequate supplies, experiencing financial loss or job loss, and stigma. Consequently, 41% of adults reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder. Further, being diagnosed with COVID-19 itself is a gateway for poor mental health with 18% of individuals who received a COVID-19 diagnosis being later diagnosed with a mental health disorder.

Poverty

Along with mental health complications, the pandemic also had dire implications on low-income communities and individuals. Reportedly, there were almost four times more COVID-19 deaths among Australians in lower-socioeconomic areas than in the wealthiest areas. This is due to disadvantaged groups being more likely to not have jobs where they could work from home, having less access to healthcare and higher prevalence of underlying chronic conditions. Indeed, low-wage workers are typically employed in essential services and cannot work from home. They are also more likely to live in overcrowded housing where social distancing is difficult. Such conditions are also likely to exacerbate poor mental health outcomes, thus emphasizing the need for support services such as LBL Philanthropy’s counselling service as well as community support.

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