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Public Mental Health and Well Being in COVID-19 Era Updated: 2020-06-04 15:04:50 KST

While many people have acted in solidarity in response to COVID-19, and there will be some positive benefits from this community spirit and response, the pandemic will likely have many psychological impacts on the population which may have a detrimental effect on the short, medium and long-term mental health of the population at large.
In turn, this may reduce people's resilience and their ability to cope.
Some may even experience trauma.
So, how do we deal with this collective grief and distress from the pandemic?
It's the topic of our News In-depth and we have a professional counselor and psychologist in the studio to help us through tonight.
Park Soyoung is the representative counselor and psychologist at Semicolon Psychotherapy and Counseling center.
Soyoung, welcome to the show.

COVID-19 pandemic anxiety. How does the average person deal with pandemic era anxiety? How can common people assess themselves in terms of addressing any psychological discomfort and what to do?

While experts like yourself say it is a normal part of the human response to major emergencies to feel this way, there are times when you do need to reach out for help. How do you know when it's time to seek help? Whether you're suffering PTSD or not?

It's particularly hard on those already living with conditions like anxiety, depression and OCD. How can people with existing conditions like such deal with a pandemic like COVID-19?

In a move that would have been unthinkable just months ago, quarantine and social distancing have now become commonplace globally as governments make concerted efforts to fight the spiraling coronavirus outbreak.
Although staying at home and social distancing are proving to be effective in containing the spread of the virus, it's definitely taking a toll on people's psychological health.
Many say they're feeling lonely, suffering depression. Human beings are a social species that relies on cooperation to survive and thrive. We can no longer socialize as much as we'd like to or used to.
What are your recommendations?

Let's look to overseas for other examples.
Over in New Zealand, there has been no new reported case of the coronavirus for the 13th day and currently has just one active case.
The island nation is now moving to cope with the psychological effects the pandemic has had on its population.
Live on skype with us is Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, the inaugural Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand from 2009 to 2018.
Thank you for joining us.

As a trained medical doctor, what psychological impact from COVID-19 are you seeing from your population, Sir Peter Gluckman?

Then, how do you think a national trauma of such size and volume should be dealt with? How does New Zealand plan to cope with it?

Do you believe the severe lockdown that your country imposed has had a mental impact on the people?

Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, the inaugural Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand, many thanks for your insights. We appreciate it.

How does quarantine take a toll on the mental wellness of those who have been confirmed with the virus? with COVID-19? Looking at the past, we saw a surge in PTSD patients after MERS. How did we deal with them?

How do you think COVID-19 will impact counseling, and also people's perspectives of approaching counseling?

Park Soyoung, counselor and psychologist at semicolon psychotherapy and counseling center, thank you for speaking with us tonight. We appreciate it.
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