COVID-19 takes a mental toll

New research published in JAMA Network Open this week has confirmed that health care workers on the frontline of COVID-19 are at increased risk of developing mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, insomnia and distress.

The cross-sectional, survey-based, region-stratified study collected data from 1257 health care workers in 34 hospitals in Wuhan and other regions of China from 29 January to 3 February 2020.

Researches assessed symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia and distress and found of the health care workers included in the survey:

  • 50.4% reported depression.
  • 44.6% reported anxiety.
  • 34% reported insomnia.
  • 71.5% reported distress.

The study also found that frontline health care workers engaged in direct diagnosis, treatment and care of patients with COVID-19 were associated with greater risk of symptoms such as depression, anxiety, insomnia and distress.

Community pharmacies

As community pharmacists and pharmacy assistants you are also on the frontline of this pandemic.

It’s vital that you look after your mental health – and that you look out for each other, and your customers.

If you are finding that COVID-19 is starting to take its toll on your mental health, the following services are here to help:

The Pharmacy Guild of Australia

Remember: you are not alone. At the recent virtual APP conference, The Pharmacy Guild of Australia made it clear that they are here to help. Look after yourselves and your staff. And if you don’t know something – don’t guess, ask. Call the Guild on 13GUILD (13 484 53).