Psychologist Dr Margaret Nakhid-Chatoor, the immediate past presiden of the TT Association of Psychologists has publicly made available a list of psychologists and their contact numbers for anyone in the country who is not coping with restrictions imposed because of the covid19 crisis. Included is a psychologist who can speak Spanish.
In a letter to the editor on Tuesday titled: Not coping with COVID19? Call us!, Dr Nakhid-Chatoor said that in any crisis or disaster, anxiety is a natural response to a situation where there is no ready solution.
She said that the government has "done remarkably" well to deal with the physical issues and infrastructure as a first response to covid19, addressing the economic and social stressors of the virus in an attempt to mitigate the impact on human life. Social distancing and quarantine has been encouraged to reduce its spread.
However, she said, what is often negligibly attended to, are the mental and emotional fallouts on the population that inevitably occur due to this enforced isolation. "Mindwise’s director, Maria O’Brien has stated that completed suicides and suicide ideation are on the increase so that solutions must focus on increasing coping resources and suicide prevention strategies both for communities and families, especially for those who are at risk or are already victims of the covid19 disaster," she wrote.
For some, the concerns have been catching the virus or spreading it; fear and anxiety; disruption to family life and the financial losses in the long term. The crisis has not been helpful to those who rely on news from the mainstream or social media which can exaggerate issues or spread false information, further adding to stress and anxiety.
Those most at risk during this pandemic, she said, are the persons who lack needed coping skills and those with a history of substance abuse, previous physical illness or elderly persons with health issues.
"But what can a person do when confined to a space for an extended period of time, especially when there are outbursts of anger, irritability, excessive worrying and a loss of self-control? It is not an easy task to implement coping mechanisms as many have been advised to do, such as social support systems, connecting with persons online, creating routines that would achieve a sense of normalcy or taking care of one’s physical health when there is so much uneasiness and uncertainty,"
She said that the association has noted an increase in persons seeking advice on how to cope with stress and anxiety and manage their mental well-being during this pandemic.
"We deem it our responsibility to assist the society in maintaining a level of calm, and to help persons to take the necessary steps to protect themselves and others around them." Dr Nakhid-Chatoor said that in the event a person or someone you care about are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, anxiety or depression that are persistent and confusing, "please call our members at the following telephone lines in your area to talk to someone." Our team of Psychologists is available to help you to cope, she assured.
PSYCHOLOGIST CONTACT INFO:
Raymond :732-2702; Laura: 474-2737; Margaret: 342-1578; Greisy- 769-8094.
Wendy: 787-0975; Sally: 730-7639; Michelle: 469-9983; Patricia: 386-2815
Deborah: 757-9348; Kareen: 731-2386; Jeff: 689-1243; Lusc: 784-6678
J’elle: 727-6723; Leslie-Ann: 754-0170; Arlene: 722-0188
Stacy: 718-4387; Dionne: 495-1750