Four weeks ago, Shania from Twente was forcibly admitted to a closed ward. It is for her own safety, because Shania damages herself. However, she says that she has not been able to receive a visit for weeks because of the corona measures, does not help her any further.
“The corona measures in mental health care make it feel like I’m back to square one,” Shania tells EditieNL. “As if I’m sinking back into the misery I was in. That face to face contact is just really important and I couldn’t even see my parents. That made me start hurting myself again and feeling lonely.”
Visitors come along, but must stay outside. Contact goes through the window, can be seen on the vlogs Shania posts on TikTok. With the vlogs she tries to keep in touch with the outside world and to show what her life looks like now. She is honest in that: good days, bad days, medication, everything will pass.
“Today was a difficult day, I spent a lot of time in bed. Such days are terrible and that is allowed, unfortunately recovery is not in a straight line,” she says in one of the videos, for example.
“It is still not going well with me,” Shania tells EditieNL. “Next week I will have a crisis deliberation on how to proceed and whether I should stay here.”
Connection to ordinary life
“Sitting in a closed department is always difficult and not pleasant, but it is of course extra difficult at this time,” says Nic Vos de Wael of the MIND Foundation. “If you also can’t get visitors from the outside, the connection you have with normal life is gone. That makes it extra heavy. That contact is very important, because in the institution you are with people you don’t know . “
Broadening visit arrangements
The MIND Foundation thinks it is urgent to extend the visiting arrangements. “There will be a new guideline this week that states that institutions should deal generously with visiting arrangements. If things go well, there will be more room,” says Vos de Wael. “It is important that this is actually applied in the future. After all, there was already some visitors possible, but we noticed restraint.”
Day structure disappears
According to MIND, people with psychological complaints suffer more from this today. “We examined it twice: in March and April. More than half indicate that mental complaints have increased since the corona period. They are people who are sensitive to stress and anxiety, so Corona reinforces that. One in three people says not knowing how to get through in the near future. “
“What also applies: people with serious mental problems often do not have such a large network. The contact with the people they have around them can also disappear more easily now. Daytime activities are also lost. The day structure is lost and I think it does slow down recovery. “
Help with mental distress in corona time
People who seek help can visit the website of the 113 Suicide Prevention Foundation or call telephone number 0900-0113. This can be done 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
You can also contact MIND Korrelatie for psychological help or a listening ear.