Lately, we’ve been covering a lot on mental health and how to deal with it, and it’s not just because October was mental health awareness month.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all in different ways, and it’s sad to say that some of us may have had to go through some mental anguish in lockdown.
On top of all that’s going on, imagine what it must be like for B40 families, who also have to face the reality of financial instability.
A United Nations (UN) study done between the end of the Movement Control Order (MCO) period and September showed some concerning statistics from its Families on the Edge project, and described the extent to which 500 families with children in Kuala Lumpur’s low-cost flats have recovered.
Mental health is among the new issues that were studied amongst the B40 community, with almost one in five heads of households (HoH) and roughly one in three female-headed households reporting feeling depressed.
They expressed feeling fear, worry, anxiety, anger and stress about uncertain economic and financial conditions, as well as the well-being of their children and their parents.
Of course, financial concerns make matters worse.
The study showed that 42% of HoH and 51% of female HoH are stressed about not having enough money to buy food for their children and their children’s education.
Meanwhile, some household members are experiencing new negative behavioural changes, that were previously not observed in them.
Most of the 25% of them reported experiencing higher depression symptoms and increased tensions in the family, and not so much alcohol drinking and cigarette use.
With that, the study suggests that the following need to be done:
- Strengthen the provision of mental health services and interventions in communities and schools.
- Provide more services that prevent and respond to gender-based violence and violence against children, including expanding parenting support programmes in vulnerable communities.
If you’re experiencing any mental health issues, here are some tips to help you get your mind straight.
Take care of yourselves, guys!
by Kyle Roshen Jacob