Protect mental health during lockdown — expert

South Africans have among the highest rates of stress and anxiety in the world, highlighting the need to protect their mental health during the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, says health expert Vanessa Ascencao.

Ascencao says the public should be conscious of their levels of stress, anxiety, and the risk of developing depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) during the national lockdown.

More than 17 million South Africans are already dealing with depression, substance abuse, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, according to the Mental Health Federation of South Africa.

Ascencao echoed the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) mental health guidelines, urging increased self-care and calling for support, compassion and kindness, particularly for those infected with the virus.

“People with mental health conditions are vulnerable during this time. In addition to boosting immunity and health through a nutritious diet, quality supplements, regular exercise and good restorative sleep, identify stress triggers, reduce streams of information to limited credible sources, stay in regular contact with friends and loved ones and pay attention to your feelings and emotions.”

“Pursue relaxing activities like deep breathing, meditation or yoga and seek credible natural stress remedies such as Bio-Canna CBD Oil which is 100% natural and highly bioavailable due to its liposomal properties. Research shows how Bio-Canna helps bring the body into homeostasis, while another study of US army veterans shows its’s efficacy in reducing anxiety and improving sleep.”

Ascencao added a study showed the potent turmeric extract, BCM-95 in anti-inflammatory supplement Bio-Curcumin, targets depression and anxiety and helps address major depressive disorder (MDD).

The SA Depression and Anxiety Group says those feeling overwhelmed can call their hotlines: 0800-21-22 23 or 0800-70-80-90 or 0800-456-789, visit their website for information on managing stress and anxiety, can chat to a counsellor on their WhatsApp line 076-882-2775 or may visit their Facebook page.

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For more information on coronavirus/Covid-19 in South Africa, visit: www.sacoronavirus.co.za