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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 12-21

Psychological management of mental health concerns related to COVID-19: A review of guidelines and recommendations

1 Department of Clinical Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry and Human Behaviour, Bambolim, Goa, India
2 De-addiction-Unit, MKCG Medical College and Hospital, Brahmapur, Ganjam, Odisha, India
3 Department of Psychiatry, Armed Forces Medical College, Wanowrie, Pune, Maharashtra, India
4 Department of Psychiatry, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Medical College, Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Narendra Nath Samantaray
Department of Clinical Psychology, Institute of Psychiatry and Human Behaviour, Bambolim, Goa
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_81_20

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Many publications have delineated strategies for mental health care to respond to psychological concerns and ramifications related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The current review aims to encapsulate existing guidelines and recommendations of psychological management for mental health care for the general population, health-care professionals, children, and elderly populations, applied to a pandemic in particular reference to COVID-19. The literature on psychological care of such repercussions of COVID-19 was retrieved via a search in PubMed and Google database. Of 91 retrieved initial articles, only 18 were selected for final analysis, which was divided into two categories: (a) guidelines by government/public health bodies (n = 11) and (b) publications in peer-reviewed journals (n = 7). The recommendations can be summed but not limited to psychoeducation from a reliable source, normalization of stress, behavioral activation, scheduling of activities with a bespoke blending of recreational and daily chores, supportive care, staying digitally connected, relaxation techniques, ensuring rest, rotating shifts and short breaks during working hours, curtailing media consumption, fostering community resilience, seeking and sharing support from colleagues/supervisors, avoidance of abusing psychoactive substances, online consultation of mental health professionals on need, and participatory communication in a developmentally appropriate way with children. In the absence of observational and controlled studies on psychological management during pandemic times, we recommend such research soon.

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