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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 51-54

”Watching the watchmen:” Mental health needs and solutions for the health-care workers during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic

1 Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, JSS Medical College, Mysuru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. T S Sathyanarayana Rao
Department of Psychiatry, JSS Medical College, Mysuru, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijhas.IJHAS_87_20

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The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has emerged as a global public health threat. As international borders are sealed, economies slashed, and billions quarantined at their homes to prevent the spread of infection, this pandemic has affected society at large, having a long-lasting psychological impact, more than ever. Certain vulnerable groups are more susceptible to this trauma. These include the health-care workers, one of the prominent frontline force against COVID-19. Their mental health needs are not only limited to work pressure, burnout, frustration, and guilt toward the family but also a constant fear of infection, health anxiety, paranoia, and depressive disorders. Complex posttraumatic stress and grief can be the added compounding factors leading to absenteeism and decreased efficiency. This commentary reviews the evidence for the various mental-health care needs of these frontline workers and highlights the possible solutions during such a biological disaster.

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