Financial worries to be major mental issue for those during MCO

Dr Ismail Drahman

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By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, April 1: Economic stress caused by the loss of jobs and reduced income will become a major issue for working adults during the prolonged Movement Control Order (MCO) rather than mental pressure, said consultant psychiatrist at Kota Sentosa Hospital Dr Ismail Drahman.

As such, he advised everyone to take care of their basic needs such as food and shelter over luxuries during MCO period.

“We have to remain silent in facing this prolonged MCO by making ourselves busy with the things we can do at home with our family members. Forget about what’s beyond this MCO period because uncertainties and anxieties can cause mental distress,” Dr Ismail told DayakDaily today.

He said people must abide by MCO to reduce the transmission of Covid-19 pandemic, otherwise it will go out of control.

“What is important over the next two weeks is for us to remain safe from the virus by staying at home and practice good hygiene. This way, we can reduce its infection and transmission,” he added.

Dr Ismail also advised those who are bored at home to start a hobby if they have not already done so, including taking up reading.

“At the same time, the people can watch television and for those who have Astro, can watch good movies for free. Besides that, most people now have access to social media to get in touch with their friends and relatives,” he said.

For those facing mental stress and having depression, he advised them to reach out to someone via social media.

“If you are having depression, one of the best way is to talk it with someone,” he added.

For those who need help, they can reach out to Mental Health Sarawak Association’s Facebook or contact Sentosa Hospital.

Recounting his experience during the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic in 2003, Dr Ismail hoped healthcare workers in the front line would remain calm and patient.

“I have experienced being quarantined at Kota Sentosa Hospital for one whole month whereby I have nothing to sleep on except the chair,” he shared.

Prior to his retirement in 2018, Dr Ismail was the director of Kota Sentosa Hospital. —DayakDaily