Global consultancy firm Interactive Research and Development (IRD) on Thursday launched a helpline to help people across Pakistan cope with increasing anxiety and stress amid a coronavirus lockdown.
The helpline was launched in line with Pursukoon Zindagi Programme which aims to increase access to mental health services in low income settings by utilising community-based projects.
While talking to Geo News on Thursday, Programming Manager IRD Anita Pasha said that daily life dynamics of the common citizens in Pakistan had completely changed due to the coronavirus.
“Even if it is about working from home or doing daily home chores, there’s a lot of pressure on everybody since this is new to all of us,” Pasha stated, highlighting that people needed to stop thinking about things beyond their control.
Raising concerns over a surge in the number of domestic violence cases during the lockdown, Pasha said that families needed to collectively focus on healthy activities that were productive and kept children and other family members busy.
“Immerse children in healthy activities like painting, jogging, solving puzzles and bicycling as per their areas of interests”, Pasha explained, adding that free time should be used to experiment and explore new things.
Try to schedule out your routine, she said, since this will help in keeping things sorted. “In order to optimise productivity while working from home, make sure that you stay punctual with healthy sleeping habits,” she added.
In a bid to combat depression during isolation, mental health professionals providing online therapy sessions told The News on Thursday that they had witnessed a rise in the cases of domestic abuse following the COVID-19 lockdown in Pakistan.
However, these are not the only cases related to mental health that have been reported to health professionals in large numbers recently, The News reported, claiming that a spike in the number of cases related to anxiety and depression had also been recorded in recent weeks.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Pakistan has climbed up to 10,513 after new infections were confirmed in the country on Thursday. The nation-wide death tally has risen to 224.