Alliance for Safe Community (ASC) chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said changes in daily routines due to the pandemic and efforts to curb it such as the Movement Control Order had significantly affected everyone.
“There are more people who become anxious and depressed due to this pandemic and measures to control it.
“Psychological effects of economic impacts such as financial difficulty need to be addressed among the general public.
“People can easily become distressed due to difficulties in adjusting to these changes and difficulties,” he said in a statement.
He warned if this concern was not properly controlled, the response itself could well worsen the situation.
He said people used social media as a mode to socialise which indirectly increased their access to unverified information and fake news on the pandemic.
He said unverified and untrue information about Covid-19 spread on social media created more anxiety and panic.
“If the above issues are not addressed adequately and effectively, healthcare personnel who are currently working tirelessly may face burnout in dealing with the pandemic.
“If mental health among health care workers is not tackled in this difficult situation, whether directly or indirectly it will negatively affect their performance and also the pandemic.
“Therefore, to minimise the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic among the general public, promotion of mental health should also be enhanced and prioritised,” he said.
He said mental health support could be offered to individuals who need help via tele-discussions or one to one meetings.
“For those who face mental health problems such as severe anxiety, depression or experience suicidal thoughts should visit a hospital or clinic urgently to seek assistance.
“However, standard precaution against the spread of infection must be observed and followed at all times,” he said.