Mental Health & Addiction Update - 9 November 2020

on 9 November

Mental Health & Addiction Update

Toni Gutschlag

Kia ora whānau

You will have seen in the media last week research from the University of Otago about the levels of distress and anxiety experienced across the country during lockdown.

There continues to be a lot research being conducted about the impact of COVID-19 on our collective wellbeing and each uses different methodologies and sample groups, which means they are likely to come up with differing results. In this research it was found that although almost 40 percent of respondents reported low wellbeing and a third reported moderate-to-high distress, two thirds also reported enjoying the ‘silver linings’ during lockdown including working from home and spending more time with loved ones.

All of this information provides us with useful indications of what is going on as we continue to monitor the impacts of COVID-19 on our communities and across the sector.

We know that the impacts of COVID-19 may be felt for some time but that doesn’t mean long term mental distress is inevitable. Just like physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing is something that we can strengthen with practice. By strengthening our mental wellbeing, we are building skills and resilience to help us respond to uncertainty and difficult times.

This week I’d like to acknowledge the work being done at all our managed isolation and quarantine facilities. Thanks to our frontline workers, tens of thousands of people have returned from overseas and completed their managed isolation or quarantine stay safely, before returning to their communities.

Thank you to all of the people who work in managed isolation and quarantine facilities and other essential border work to keep COVID-19 out of Aotearoa and thank you to the people close to them that support them to do this work on our collective behalf.

Ngā mihi nui

Toni

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