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Coronavirus: state doctors call for psychiatric services to restart to help those traumatised by lockdown

Photo: Christos Theodorides)

State doctors’ union Pasyki said on Monday all psychiatric services needed to restart to help people deal with the stresses and anxieties and other problems arising from the coronavirus lockdown.

The union said the measures, which are set to be lifted later this week, had been were traumatic for many people but especially for vulnerable groups, including those already suffering from psychiatric illnesses.

Pasyki said the lack of psychiatric services and the understaffing in the sector must be addressed, and that staff working in these sectors must return to work immediately.

“Unfortunately, the suddenness of the pandemic and the urgent need to deal with it, as well as the inadequate structures in the public hospitals and the need for correct preparations and necessary cooperation, led to the neglect of patients with chronic illnesses,” the union said.

Commenting on psychiatric patients, it said a “big price” was paid by these patients as many of their treatments were not available during the restrictive measures.

As the pandemic recedes, Pasyki said there was a greater need for psychiatric services as more patient issues, including, stress, depression, alcoholism, death, loss of work, familial violence, the lockdown, and isolation, arise.

“Individuals suffering from such issues cannot handle them, without the existence of effective psychiatric services,” the union said.

They added the virus was regressing but the fear and the societal consequences continue to exist.

The United Nations and the World Health Organisation have told governments to focus on the psychiatric aspect of the pandemic, and to strengthen and prepare the services in each country to deal with these issues.

On Thursday, May 21, all movement restrictions – set during the lockdown – are expected to be lifted, according to the government plan.

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