Experts are concerned that the COVID- 19 pandemic could have long-lasting effects on the psychological wellbeing of individuals, eventually culminating in a public mental health crisis.
COVID- 19 and the subsequent panic, uncertainty and isolation have led to a widespread rise in cases of anxiety and depression. Mental health professionals warn that given current conditions, everyone is at risk for these diseases.
Organisations such as the Finnish Association for Mental Health (MIELI Suomen Mielenterveys) have recorded an exponential increase in the number of calls made to their crisis hotlines in the past few months, with a significant number of calls directly related to COVID- 19.
There is a tendency in Finland to downplay mental health issues and label them as insignificant compared to other critical concerns regarding the ongoing crisis. However, mental health experts stress that seeking help as early as possible is key to treating any mental illness.
The toll that the pandemic has taken on public well-being could persist long after the disease has been brought under control, and experts emphasise the importance of allocating enough resources for tackling mental illness.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from a mental health crisis or requires support, you can contact a helpline here.