“The current COVID-19 lockdown has seen an increase in the number of South Africans who have noted changes to their eating habits and sleeping patterns. During the global pandemic, the unpredictability of life has made it harder for people to imagine and plan for their future, leaving many feeling extremely fearful and vulnerable to anxiety and depression.
It is necessary that we engage on the impact that the lockdown has had on mental wellness. Was South Africa (and the rest of the world) ever ready for the ‘mental trauma’ that is attached to social distancing and the requirement to self-isolate/quarantine? Our response to COVID-19 should not only focus on physical health, or the devastating effect that it has had on the economy – we need to address the psychological strain that people are under, which may have a lasting impact on livelihood.
Scifest Africa has brought together this panel of experts in an effort to critically engage on this matter:
Mayke Huijbregts (Chief of Social Policy & of Child Protection at UNICEF)
Prof Narnia Bohler-Muller (Divisional Executive of the Developmental, Capable & Ethical State research at the HSRC)
Dr Avivit Cherrington (Educational Psychologist & Chairperson of PsySSA’s Community and Social Psychology Division)
Dr Mvuyiso Talatala (Psychiatrist & former President of the South African Society of Psychiatrists)”