Shock plan to tackle the emotional impact of Covid-19

Shock plan to tackle the emotional impact of Covid-19

Health. The plan is mainly aimed at groups most in need of specific support, such as children and teenagers, carers, the elderly and people with mental health problems.

In addition to the initial municipal budget for mental health programmes, an extra 1.5 million euros is to be used to address the psychological suffering caused among people as a result of the pandemic and lockdown. The new shock plan on mental health will be implemented by the city’s Mental Health Board and provide special attention for groups most in need of specific support, such as children and teenagers, carers, the elderly and people with mental health problems.

The weekly survey conducted by the Municipal Data Office on the impact of Covid-19 in Barcelona shows that 49% of the population are finding lockdown tough or fairly tough, while 86% recognise their concern over the situation generated by the pandemic.

Some of the most common feelings include fear and the worry of possible infection, with all the consequences this may have for people and those closest to them; the extra burden for carers; a strong emotional impact caused by death and mourning in the context of farewells for loved ones which couldn’t go ahead as they normally would, and more severe feelings of isolation and loneliness, particularly among the elderly.

The shock plan has been designed to reach four groups identified as most in need of specific support: children and teenagers, carers, the elderly and people with mental health problems.

Programmes will be active in June and July and include:

  1. An online activity centre offering tools to tackle the difficulties during Covid-19.
  2. A support and mental health assessment programme for social professionals and entities to improve early detection of psychological problems, particularly in neighbourhoods with more social difficulties.
  3. A new childhood telephone service aimed at families, to act as a specific tool and not to replace existing services.
  4. Support for entities working in the realm of socio-labour insertion for people with mental health problems, providing a boost for labour support and guidance programmes for people affected and in particular for companies to take on staff with these profiles.

The plan has a special budget of 1.5 million euros, in addition to the 640,000 euros already allocated this year for the various existing municipal mental health programmes in the city, which will continue to operate.