Church SOS still wants to focus on mental health – even after the pandemic

On World Mental Health Day on October 10, we at Kirkens SOS have dealt a blow to bring more attention to mental health, even with society now reopening.

Suddenly it was decided that the era of the epidemic in Norway was almost over. Many greeted the letter from a few weeks ago with tears of joy, a sense of relief and a celebration that Norway had never experienced before.

Many are able to return to their safe and familiar daily lives, similar to how they were before the pandemic. Return to work and regular social gatherings. Life is filled with the joy of being able to look outside again and celebrate weddings, birthdays and affirmations with as many guests as one desires.

But this is not the case for everyone.

Many of them have experienced tremendous psychological stress during the pandemic. Research by the National Institute of Public Health on infection control measures, quality of life, and mental health shows that more people experienced loneliness and mental illness during this period, and that young people and single people experienced greater stress. The Student Health and Well-being (SHoT) Survey from April of this year found that 45 percent of college students developed serious mental illness during the pandemic. Kirkens SOS constantly notes the increased pressure on our services during this period.

Due to social distancing, many have lost their friends during the pandemic. While some return to groups of friends and active environments, others are left more alone than before. While many may find some solace during the pandemic in the fact that “all” were on our own, today one may feel alienated and ashamed that one is still alone, while “everyone” is partying outside.

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Still others suffer mentally – because unfortunately, mental illness is not released overnight, even as society opens up.

And during the pandemic, many of us have been able to talk really well about how we are taking care of each other. We tested more openness about mental health, loneliness, suicidal thoughts, and prevention. After all, this period brought more attention to mental health. In a way, we normalized having a rough time.

We at Kirkens SOS hope to take this even further. Not everyone is doing well, although the epidemic in our country is over. Many people will struggle for a long time with the consequences of the traumatic period. Many are still afraid. Many are still not sure if the pandemic is really over. Many people ended up without a job and a social network.

Let’s not forget that community and care that has served so many of us so well during the pandemic. A neighbor or co-worker may still feel lonely and neglected. That is why we emphasize the theme of World Mental Health Day:

be aware of. Be present. Complete. So far, everyday life seems to be becoming more and more normal.

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Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

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