By Carolina Gonzaga Allen
The COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying economic downturn have had a detrimental impact on many people’s quality of life and created new barriers for those who already have mental illness or substance abuse problems.
Young adults have faced a variety of pandemic-related effects, such as university closures and lost income, which may have contributed to their poor mental health. Job loss is linked to greater sadness, anxiety, distress, and low self-esteem, as well as higher rates of substance use disorder and suicide, according to research from previous economic downturns. Adults in families with job loss or lower incomes report higher rates of mental illness symptoms than those in households without jobs or income loss during the pandemic.
During the epidemic, research revealed worries about children’s mental health and well-being, particularly among mothers, who are facing problems such as school closures and childcare shortages. Women with children are more likely than males with children to experience anxiety and/or depression symptoms.
The pandemic has had a notably negative impact on the health of racial minorities. In the past, these racial minorities have had difficulty getting mental health care.
Many vital workers continue to confront difficulties, including a higher chance of catching the coronavirus than other workers. Essential workers are more likely than non-essential workers to report anxiety or depression symptoms, begin or increase substance usage and have suicidal thoughts during the pandemic.
All of these events made Filipino Australian Health Workers Association (FAHWA) Peel Coordinator Rudson Al Barcoma decide to conduct a Mental Health Project with the approval and the go signal of FAHWA President Adelaide Oakdon and the rest of the Committee members. The project is proudly supported by the City of Mandurah.
FAHWA Peel Coordinator Rudson Al Barcoma is a registered Nurse with an area of specialty in Aged Care, Medical and Surgical Nursing and also a Mental Health First Aider with a degree in Leadership and Management.
FAHWA is a non-profit, incorporated, and licensed charitable organization. Our aims and goals are: to give back to the community through our outreach programs; deliver health promotion education using our skills as health professionals; undertake activities such as the provision of food and basic necessities to the homeless and other disadvantaged groups of people in our community.
The Project started in November 2021 with a free Zumba session because FAHWA believes that a holistic approach is essential in gaining Mental Health. The Zumba session was conducted on November 6, November 20, Dec 4, and Dec. 18 between 10am and 11am held at Greenfields Family and Community Center. This was in coordination with certified Zumba Instructor Lovella Hall.
To culminate the project, FAHWA – Peel Region will be organising a Mental Health Education in coordination with MyLocalMind Inc (Dr. Kaine Grigg /Consultant Clinical Psychiatrist) which will focus on understanding emotions, sleep hygiene, mindfulness, conflict resolutions, and goal settings.
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