The district administration has initiated online counselling sessions on mental health issues for all asymptomatic Covid-19 patients who are currently under home isolation.
At least 706 Covid-19 patient, who are currently in home isolation, are being connected to a psychiatrist and psychologist of the district mental health programme through WhatsApp and video calls to address all doubts about the infection and its treatment.
Earlier this week, mental health experts had divided the home isolated Covid-19 patients into 19 groups based on their age. Every day a different group is connected to psychiatrists and psychologists via WhatsApp video call during different time slots of the day.
“The counselling sessions are held to clear doubts of people related to home isolation, and address depression and stress related issues triggered by Covid-19,” said Dr Dr Virender Yadav, chief medical officer. “Doctors motivate patients to stay stress-free as most of them are worried about getting critically ill.Through these sessions, we try and address their doubts about the disease while helping them deal with the stress that comes with it,” he said.
Through a video calling application, active Covid-19 cases are contacted and informed about basic measures to prevent the transmission of virus to their family members. “The team enquires about their health condition to prevent them from becoming critical,” said Yadav.
According to him, till June 30 —when the 19 groups were formed — Gurugram had at least 925 asymptomatic Covid-19 patients under home isolation. The number as of July 6 had come down and stood at 706 , all of who are under mandatory home quarantine and have been undergoing counselling..
Each group, officials said, comprises at least 50 patients. A psychiatrist and a psychologist counsel different groups during morning and evening hours. The online sessions are slotted from 11am to noon, noon to 1pm, 4pm to 5pm and 5pm to 6pm.
At present there are three mental health experts who are involved in the programme — clinical psychologist Dr Sachin Khatana, psychiatrist Dr Vinay Saini and Ayush expert Dr Aruna Jhangar.
Dr Sachin Khatana, clinical psychologist of district mental health programme, who has been holding these sessions said, “Majority of the patients under isolation complain about sleep disorder, as they are mostly occupied using their mobile phones, tablets or electronic gadgets till late night . We have also received complains of patients suffering from headaches and eye pain. Some of them ask about the confirmatory test to check whether they are positive or not after 10 days. Based on their symptoms and queries, we clear their doubts.”
Most patients, dealing with stress and sleeplessness, are suggested lifestyle changes by the psychologist and the psychiatrist,with the Ayush doctor recommending regular Yoga practice.
Khatana said that after patients recover, they automatically leave the group. Patients who attend these sessions submit their personal details in on a Google document to the health department.