GPA expresses concern over psychological implications of COVID-19 surge

The GPA is alerting the public to take mental health issues more seriously by seeking psychosocial help amid the COVID-19 disease

The Ghana Psychological Association (GPA), has expressed concern over the psychological implications of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the country.

A statement issued by Joy Anima Debrah, GPA public relations officer said over the years, nations had suffered varied forms of pandemics and that pandemics present a host of health and mental well-being issues.

It said sadly, not many were aware that some psychological distress could also trigger those underlying conditions and make some persons more prone to both the disease and to psychological breakdown.

It said studies show that those who had pre-existing mental health problems are at risk of the disease while the disease also has increased risk of mental disorders and neurological problems even months after the infection has cleared.

The GPA alerts the public to take mental health issues more seriously by seeking psychosocial help.

“Also, people on probation and those unsure of their fate, people with relationship/marital issues, joblessness, the poor, the sick and the vulnerable need more psychological support, in addition to physical support, especially in this COVID-19 era.

“There is no time in history that humanity needs a multi-dimensional and multi-sectoral support than now,” the statement said.

The statement also said the membership of GPA were professional psychologists with specialties in Social Psychology, Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Counselling Psychology, Clinical Psychology, Community Psychology and Educational Psychology.

It intimated that the Association was open to supporting individuals and organizations in this direction.

The GPA commended all well-meaning Ghanaians who had upheld the COVID-19 protocols and contributed in diverse ways to fighting this pandemic.

The GPA reiterated that COVID-19 is real and infection rate has heightened in all 16 Regions across the country in recent times.

It said the death rate had also increased drastically, compared to total deaths in 2020; adding, “this trend calls for caution and strict compliance of the protocols.”

The statement said everyone had a primary responsibility to self-preservation and “we cannot do less.

“We, therefore, encourage all to take the COVID-19 protocols seriously and adhere to the new government restrictions to arrest this unpleasant situation that Ghana and the entire world are grappling with,” it said.

“We embolden victims of COVID-19 to seek psychosocial help by themselves and for their loved ones, should they experience or see signs of any psychological distress,” the statement added.

It urged heads of organizations and facilities whose frontline workers and care givers witness deaths of patients and were gripped by increasing fear of catching the infection, to access psychological services for themselves and their staff to maintain their sanity and ensure their total well-being.

“We should remember that we can subdue and even overcome the COVID-19 virus within 14 days of strict compliance of wearing the nose mask and upholding all other protocols.

“The role of each individual is critical to succeed. This is the sure way to win this fight.”

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Ghana News Agency
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