Flynn calls for support for anxiety and distress as a result of coronavirus
Sinn Féin MLA Órlaithí Flynn has called for support for those experiencing anxiety and distress as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak.
The mental health spokesperson said:
"A person's mental health is directly related to their physical health and vice versa. Anxiety, distress and fear can severely impact a person's ability to physically take care of themselves.
"There are many people who will be deeply concerned by what they are hearing and seeing regarding the threat posed by Coronavirus. The levels of anxiety and distress caused, especially by some social media content, is having a real impact on their mental health.
"There have been many individuals and families who have contacted Sinn Féin offices seeking support. Many want to know that the vital support they receive for a mental health condition, including anxiety, will continue.
"Coronavirus has been an unprecedented emergency and has placed a huge pressure on healthcare staff to respond. I fully support the efforts and dedication of all healthcare workers during this difficult time.
"I also want to ensure that we look after the most vulnerable at this testing time. There is research that suggests long term anxiety can reduce the immune system. For those already dealing with anxiety and mental ill health it is important they are supported over the coming weeks and months.
"I would urge everyone to consider how they can help, either on social media or to support and reassure those who are anxious, lonely and maybe self isolating. The health service works best with community support.
"Health authorities need to act decisively to tackle Coronavirus, they also need to ensure that no one is left behind or abandoned. Talking therapies and counselling sessions are an important core health service and must be protected where possible."