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Ministry offers coping tips for Covid-induced stress

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
Children meditate at a pagoda in Phnom Penh, an activity recommended by the Ministry of Health amid the pandemic. Facebook

The Ministry of Health issued guidelines and advice on Tuesday to help prevent mental health deterioration during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The statement said people have felt a mixture of feelings amid the pandemic, including anxiety and prolonged boredom.

“Mental health is an important part of our overall health and is, therefore, a priority,” it said.

“During COVID-19, concern over virus transmission and treatment as well as not being able to access services or see loved ones amid lockdown can take its toll on mental health,” the statement said.

“People are also worried about losing jobs and income, experiencing loneliness during quarantine and anxiety over COVID-19 developments.”

As such, the ministry advised the people to not indulge in sensationalist fake news which could cause unfounded fear and panic.

It also advised citizens to check their health regularly and keep in touch with family and friends when and where possible.

“Try to do regular exercise, eat healthy food and seek consultation if you feel a prolonged period of mental health deterioration,” it said.

“The ministry advises parents to continue home learning and to keep children entertained through regular exercise, games, painting and other fun activities.”

“Try to provide opportunities for your children to keep in touch with their friends, as this will help normalise the situation and improve their mental health,” it said.

It said people could also pass thier time in quarantine reading books, listening to music and meditating for at least seven minutes, two or three times a day.

Dr. Yim Sobotra, a mental health specialist said the fear and panic caused by COVID-19 can lead to heightened emotions and anxiety disorders.

“People should try and reduce their fears during this time. The people should implement the measures outlined by the health ministry and keep up to date with real news to reduce their fears,” she said.

A United Nations policy brief in May said: “The pandemic has adversely affected mental health globally and therefore, countries must take action to support their people.”

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