Thousands of jobs lost, financial difficulties, isolation, stress, separations; the last six months marked with a hot iron by the COVID-19 pandemic have done serious damage to the psychological health of the population, and we must see it quickly.
In an interview with Mario Dumont, Dr. Christine Grou, psychologist and president of the Ordre des psychologues du Québec, insists: many studies report an increase in anxiety, but also in depression.
“Clinically, we expected that there would be an increase in the elements of anxiety and depression, which are relatively normal phenomena given the period we went through and the difficulties caused to the majority of people”, she explains.
Mental health research during COVID is still ongoing, as is the pandemic. A real shock struck the population, and this, collectively.
While last spring, a certain solidarity was felt and the winter was coming to an end, the scenario of the second wave, already under way, is less resplendent.
The days are getting shorter, solidarity is fading, some are more individualistic, the instructions are less respected, elements which do not bode well for the second wave.
“We are more worried about the second wave [for all these reasons]. There is an accumulation. At first, when people were in shock, and adjusted. We were more in adaptation than transformation. We didn't know how long it was going to last. We were very united, we understood things in much the same way. There, we had the summer to recover a little, but we should not think that the population has recovered, ”says the psychologist.
Ms. Grou explains that the affective memory of individuals is permeated by the trauma of last spring, and that this trauma will be reactivated.
“I don't want to be alarmist, but what I mean is that the reaction we will have for the second wave, and a fortiori if we have to reconfigure ourselves, it may be worse than the first. In addition, we are heading towards winter, which is more difficult for many people ”, she judges.
She believes the population has recovered, recovered over the past few weeks, but not enough.
“We will have to treat the mental health of the population preventively and actively,” she concludes.