Al Jazeera Balkans: “How to protect your own and your loved ones’ mental health during a coronavirus pandemic?”

How to protect your own and your loved ones’ mental health during a coronavirus pandemic? Why is it important to maintain social contacts at least by phone and social networks? What does it mean to be responsible in this time and how to provide support and help to others? How to organize your day? These questions were answered by regional experts: clinical psychologist of the Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center Bruna Profaca, PhD; psychiatrist Ivana Stašević Karličić, PhD, Director of the Clinic for Psychiatric Diseases “Dr. Laza Lazarević ”from Belgrade and Dželila Mulić-Čorbo, a family systemic psychotherapist from the Foundation for Local Democracy, who manages safe houses in Sarajevo in the show Context of Al Jazzere Balkans on August 14, 2020, hosted by Ivana Momčilović – Odobašić.

Bruna Profaca, PhD, emphasized that it is especially important that parents, before telling their children what they know, should check what their children know about this situation and where the information comes from:

– Today, all kinds of information are available to us, and more to children than to us, because they are connected to different networks and different sources of information. It is especially important to pay attention to this in adolescents, who tend to reduce some situations and be smarter than us in this situation because they have “read it somewhere, and know that it is not a disease, that it is something like the flu” and they can go and convince us of that. So, it is very important that we hear children and young people what they know so that we can then say “OK, now we will look together at what is known about it”. It is also important not to be overwhelmed with information continuously because it contributes to what is the biggest problem in situations of uncertainty, and that is stress and anxiety, anxiety.

Some research conducted in Croatia has shown that young children, children of younger school age, have slightly more fears than older children, but everyone, both small and large, is actually more afraid for their loved ones than for themselves, which is expected and then it can lead to an increase in some separation difficulties, separation problems, socializing problems. It is extremely important to help parents. It turned out that about a third of the parents said that in the first period when they found out about the epidemic, their parental stress increased, that is, the stress related to the parental role: Will I be able to do that? Will I be able to be both a mom, and someone who does their job online, and someone who helps the child around school and the like. Parents need someone to hear them, someone to hear that they are having a hard time. Second, to try to tell them that helping themselves will help the children as well. So that they first activate for themselves what otherwise helps them in life, and to beware of unverified information, to be informed selectively, to listen once a day, a maximum of twice information, not to increase their anxiety about the future.

 

Disclaimer: This is unofficial translation provided for information purposes. Zagreb Child and Youth Protection Center cannot be held legally responsible for any translation inaccuracy.   

 

 

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