Paul Valent

Paul Valent

Consultant liaison psychiatrist, psychotherapist, traumatologist,
Co-founder and past president Australasian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies,

Mental Health In The Times Of The Pandemic

October 24, 2020

2020 is the year of the COVID-19 pandemic. As with every other disaster, the numbers of dead and afflicted have been anxiously monitored. But as always, beyond these stark numbers are the larger soft numbers that nevertheless indicate the hard facts of mental illness. Mental illness is more extensive,  more ‘viral’ even than the virus.

But what is this ubiquitous ‘mental illness’? It is more than suicides, domestic violence, anxiety and depression, which are commonly quoted. The fact is that we don’t have a science of stress and trauma effects that explain the very wide variety of disaster and current pandemic distress.

This is where Mental Health In The Times Of The Pandemic is helpful. A pamphlet of 68 small pages, its easy to read style and plentiful clinical examples provide words and a framework that make sense and impart understanding of the widespread pandemic biological, psychological and social symptoms, which radiate in concentric circles from individuals to nations and from instincts to spiritual reaches. Readers will find reflections of themselves and their environments in the booklet, which in turn will promote fresh understanding and  healing.

Chapter 1 gives an overview of the history of the pandemic. Chapter 2 applies the international Red Cross pamphlet Coping With a Major Personal Crisis to the pandemic. Chapter 3  applies the wholist framework to naming and understanding the wide variety of pandemic symptoms, their sources, and the paths to potential healing.

The booklet is recommended for both professionals and the wider public.

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