Managing stress, distress and depression amid COVID-19
Teisey Allen, psychologist and teacher at URACCAN.
Neylin Calderon

From an intercultural approach

The mental health of the population of the Nicaraguan Caribbean Coast has been one of the great concerns highlighted by URACCAN in the face of the eminent spread of COVID-19, so, within the framework of the conversation "Address of Intercultural Health before the COVID-19 Pandemic", organized by the Rectorship through the UNESCO Chair "Wisdoms and Knowledge of Peoples" installed in this house of intercultural community studies , stress management issues were addressed.

In this regard, Teisey Allen, a psychologist and professor at the Bilwi campus, addressed this topic, highlighting important aspects of stress management, distress and depression from COVID-19 from a comprehensive and intercultural approach.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Mental Health as a welfare state in which the person is aware of his or her own abilities, which can cope with the various situations and circumstances that human beings face and live with. In contrast, mental disorders refer to a wide range of mental health conditions that temporarily and substantially affect people's ability to meet the demands of daily life, which can cause psychological discomfort or alterations in thinking, perception and mood, personality and even behavior.

In this sense, academic and psychologist Allen shared some concerns that from within the student community are presenting the university, because, some families have focused on the panic generated by the bad information disseminated by some media and social networks, this results in a deterioration in the mental health of the Caribbean population, which must be addressed from Psychology , "this generates family hysteria (...), I have asked some students, why are they afraid of (the) COVID-19?, (and they) answer: because it kills.Doesn't malaria kill us, doesn't dengue kill us? Of course, the only thing that has now been greater media coverage, with COVID-19" has multiplied the information disproportionately.

"We are very impulsive and sometimes tend to be aggressive and violent in situations of severe stress," Teisey said, emphasizing that the population behaves as a result of fear, produces a process of anxiety and anguish that directly affects people's mindsets, in the face of this, he proposed that, "instead of separating we should unite as people, zero panics and try to re-establish those bonds by allowing everyone in the community to be healthy."

Similarly, Allen emphasized that ill-informed people are creating an environment of victims, "that's where we need to stop," stressing that traditional medicine is one of the alternatives to combat the anxiety, distress and stress caused by COVID-19."Here we have always had a health system of our own and have faced more adversity throughout history, and see, we're still here, we're here," she said.

Building personal habits

In conclusion, the young academic talked about building habits, which need to start with small actions from home, "which are: constantly washing hands, using soap, soap, let's do a song for as long as we're washing them, it's not that hard, because we're still not at risk in our minds," she concluded.

URACCAN, from the Rectory with the accompaniment of academics and academics and the area of Health Sciences, is working on research to cope with periods of mental health crisis in the university community, entitled "Mental health of the multicultural university community before COVID-19: Emotional resilience practices with intercultural gender perspective".