Novel coronavirus: China has deployed mental health services across the country to tackle the trauma inflicted on people due to the outbreak of coronavirus. The novel coronavirus had claimed 1,100 lives till Tuesday and infected more than 44,000 people.
State media Xinhua said that Wuhan has also opened two 24-hour hotlines to quell people's fear and address psychological health of the people. The services started on January 23 when Wuhan was put under a lockdown. Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University and the Hubei Psychological Consultant Association are offering the mental health services to the people.
Xiao Jinsong, head of the Hubei Psychological Consultant Association said that they receive nearly 100 phone calls every day on an average. Xiao Jinsong also encouraged frontline medical staff who are constantly working with coronavirus victims to use the hotline to vent their negative feeling, the report stated. So far, on an average they only receive five calls out of the 100 from medical staff, Jinsong said.
Jinsong added that most frontline medical staff are fully concentrating on their work with no time to relax. Moreover, some habitually work under high pressure which is not conducive to their mental health, added Jinsong.
The report said that the second batch of 148 medical staff was dispatched on January 28 to offer assistance in Wuhan Third Hospital. Psychological consultation rooms with psychologists and professional nurses have been set up in their working area and the hotel they are putting up in, so that they and the patients have access to one-on-one mental health services. Online mental health services are also available.
A 55-member emergency medical rescue team for Shanghai East Hospital was dispatched on February 4. The team has launched psychological training for its team members and is providing psychological support to frontline medical staff in Wuhan. The hospital had also compiled a book on psychological self-help and rescue and is handing hard copies free of charge in Hubei and Shanghai. Its electronic version is available for free download.
Multiple 24-hour hotlines have been initiated by Hubei, Shanxi, Shandong, Fujian, Zhejiang, Sichaun, Jiangsu and Henan provinces. Shanghai has also assigned psychiatrists to isolation wards.