<p>The Aga Khan University Hospital, recognizing the need for accurate information on mental health during the COVID – 19 lockdown, hosted a Facebook Live session for raising awareness on issues related to mental health.<span style="white-space: pre;"> </span></p><div>The experts who participated in this session included:</div><div>Dr. Nargis Asad - Associate Professor & Chair, Psychiatry</div><div>Dr. Tania Nadeem - Assistant Professor, Psychiatry</div><div>Nadia Sarwar - Head Nurse, Neuro Service Line Office</div><div>Dr. Sana Siddiqui - Senior Instructor Psychiatry
</div><div>Dr. Sania Sabzwari - Associate Professor, Family Medicine</div><div>Dr. Humera Saeed - Assistant Professor, Psychiatry</div><div>Nimira Asif - Assistant Professor, School of Nursing & Midwifery</div><div>
</div><div>Dr. Nargis moderated this very diverse panel discussion and answered the mental health concerns of people. The session started with a discussion on the symptoms of COVID-19 including dry cough, fever and shortness of breath. Recognizing these symptoms is essential for patients suffering from other lungs related diseases, so they know when to visit a hospital. Dr. Sania described these symptoms and discussed the precautions for COVID-19 like practicing good hand hygiene, social distancing and wearing a mask in clinical areas.</div><div>
</div><div>Dr. Nargis answered a question referring to the stress experienced due to the lockdown and recommended that everyone should follow a routine, try exercising, enjoy family time and avoid discussing COVID-19 all the time. Dr. Humera also added that people should remain in contact with friends and family through video calling, so they don’t feel completely isolated.
</div><div>Dr. Humera further said that some level of anxiety is normal for the population right now given the extreme circumstances we are facing globally. However, we should keep our family engaged in hobbies and lessen our consumption of news so that the household doesn’t become too stressful. Dr. Sana also recognized how some patients with existing mental health problems may be facing more anxiety than others, yet, they shouldn’t tamper with their dosage without consulting with their doctor.
</div><div>A lot of parents reached out before and during the Facebook Live session with questions about their children, especially those who were about to sit for exams. Dr. Tania addressed them by recognizing the stress these students must be undergoing and also requested parents to enroll their children in some online courses to learn something new during this time. There is global uncertainty as to when schools will open and when final exams will be held, however, we shouldn’t stress out too much about it, rather wait for the regulatory bodies to notify us of updated schedules.
</div><div>Ms. Nadia addressed the worries of the healthcare practitioners working on the frontline of COVID-19 to practice all precautionary measures such as PPE, hand hygiene and social distancing. Our panel also recognized how stressful it may be for families to be stuck at home at all times, however, we must be patient with each other and kind to one another until the lockdown is over.
</div><div>The complete video of the Facebook Live session can be viewed on: