A national level webinar on “Mental Health Issues in COVID-19 Pandemic” organised by Jamia Hamdard

New Delhi: Jamia Hamdard’s Department of Rehabilitation Sciences organized a national level webinar
on “Mental Health Issues in COVID-19 Pandemic” on 20th May, aiming to create awareness about potential stressors triggered during the pandemic in community and to provide strategies to cope with the potential stressors under the current challenge of COVID-19 and the lockdown.

The webinar got an overwhelming response with more than 900 registrants from all over the country and some of the international delegates from Saudi Arabia, Riyadh and Nigeria also registered for it. Keeping in consideration such an overwhelming response, it was hosted both on the google meet platform and was also streamed live on YouTube. As per an analysis the webinar got 250 participants on google meet and a total view of 800 participants from all around the world on live streaming.

The resource person for the webinar, Prof. R.C. Jiloha, recipient of several national and
international academic awards of high repute, is a psychiatrist with over 40 years of professional experience as a clinician and a medical teacher. Dr. Jiloha conducted the whole
session in a very efficient manner. He gave valuable insights on the various mental health issues and stressors in COVID-19 pandemic. He emphasized that COVID-19 pandemic is spreading worldwide; a parallel epidemic of fears and worries is spreading in the countries that are progressively hit by the virus. No doubt, public health measures like social distancing
quarantine and isolation are beneficial in bringing down the growth of infection, they cause
adverse effects on mental health of every one including the affected people.

Lockdown, a form of forced isolation, takes away what people need most in times of great distress—warmth, support, closeness, presence of someone around and collective meaning-making of the uncalled-for situation. He also focused on Mental health problems, as public scare, fears and anxieties. These conditions manifest as anxieties over touching any potentially infected surface, meeting a person with a travel history, involving visit to highly infected places, or developing any signs or symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections like coughing, sneezing, fever etc. There is paranoia and fear if any other person sneezes or coughs in the vicinity. While these mental health fears and anxieties are likely to be mild and short lived, long-term mental health effects are inevitable. Most vulnerable are the frontline healthcare workers, affected patients, people in quarantine and isolation, children, pregnant women, diagnosed mentally ill, homeless and the elderly. He also explained the different strategies to cope with anxiety, motivational issues, other potential stressors under the current challenge of COVID-19. After the completion of the session, there was an interactive session between the expert and the participants where Dr. Jiloha resolved the queries raised by the participants.

The Department of Rehabilitation Sciences acknowledges Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, Professor Dr. Seyed Ehtesham Hasnain and the Pro Vice Chancellor, Dr. Ahmed Kamal for their encouragement in the organization and promotion of such activities and for facilitating us to use ICT platforms optimally. Team Rehab show sincere gratitude to Jamia Hamdard administration not only for their positive support in the successful accomplishment of the webinar but also for providing constant guidance and motivation to the students and faculty members during the lockdown phase.