From DG Nominee 2023-24 Desk

Rtn Dr. Duyshant Choudhary

I am glad to know that the rotary club of Jammu elite is doing a wonderful job by providing online crisis counseling services. The outbreak of COVID-19 is stressful and overwhelming and is causing emotional problems in adults and children. As the coronavirus pandemic rapidly sweeps across the world, it is inducing a considerable degree of fear, worry and concern in the population at large and among certain groups in particular, such as older adults, care providers and people with underlying health conditions.

Quarantine and its effects on many people’s usual activities, routines or livelihoods – levels of loneliness, depression, harmful alcohol and drug use, and self-harm or suicidal behavior are also expected to rise. The World Federation for Mental Health appeals to all countries and their governments to ensure that national mental health plans are designed to manage the mental health consequences of the global coronavirus health emergency. Mental health is a precious commodity and a national asset and should be prioritized in the same way as physical health.

Many countries are currently experiencing the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. The situation has become dire as we search for a vaccine to prevent more infections and stop the loss of thousands of lives. In many affected countries all health care services are currently subjected to enormous stress and extraordinary challenges while mental health and psychosocial support needs of people ‒ of those already using services as well as citizens experiencing insurmountable levels of stress ‒ continue to rise. We know that “There is no health without mental health”

It is undisputed that the current COVID-19 emergency will have long-lasting consequences and effects on the mental health of all people, affecting the general population with astonishingly heightened stress.

As an immediate consequence, certain people with mental disorders who need “closer” care are the most affected by “physical distancing”. An increase in demand for involuntary treatments is beginning to surface in many areas.

Families who have now become the primary care givers of their relative with severe mental illness battle to cope without the necessary support that may have ordinarily been offered such as respite care, counseling, guidance and support. Many people are alone and helpless or find themselves living in poverty and/or highly congested communities where self-isolation or lockdown is virtually impossible thus increasing their exposure to the virus. We therefore urgently call for proactive actions and measures to address the mental health, physical health as well as the social needs of all during this crisis. We believe it is essential for all countries, especially those who are fighting the hardest consequences of the pandemic, not only to focus on the medical aspects of the COVID-19 Providing psychological help to the general population to cope with distress, anxiety, uncertainty, sadness and grief caused by the pandemic is a great and noble work which the ladies of Rotary club Jammu Elite have initiated. I wish them great success in this endeavor.

My best wishes to the Club President Rtn Paramjeet Kour, President Elect Rtn Archana Sharma, Past President Rtn Gurvinder Kour, Rtn Sangeeta Puri, project Director Rtn. Dr Manisha Sarup Kohli and all the members of the Rotary club of Jammu Elite.