Now we are out of lockdown, is continued anxiety a thing?

At the core of returning to a more social life, there may linger a sense of persistent anxiety for some. There’s some indication that at least the short term as we emerge out of lockdown, a higher proportion of people may experience anxious feelings. But it’s important to remember that experiencing some anxiety is normal.

Social Cohesion in a Post-Covid-19 World

The second discussion paper of the Koi Tū: The Future is Now Series, titled He Oranga Hou: Social cohesion in a post-COVID world, examines the critical issue of how New Zealand’s strong national unity during lockdown will become increasingly tested as economic consequences are more and more acutely felt. In mapping out the paths to return to the ‘new normal’, how do we ensure that social cohesion is maintained? I’m a co-author of this paper.

Webinar: 6 May 12pm NZT

I’m doing a webinar next Wednesday 6th May at 12pm NZT. I’ll outline the main points from the Framework for Psychosocial Support published by the Ministry of Health in 2016, and how this translates to a new New Zealand Government Psychosocial Response Framework for COVID-19 – drawing upon what I’ve learned from the past 14 years working in Disaster Mental Health and Emergency Management and my experiences as a psychologist and policy maker.

Deal with ‘Problems of Living’ as well as health and economic impacts

When we talk about disasters or a crisis, we often focus on the disruption and stress caused by the index event or occurrence itself. In the case of Covid19, it’s the health impact of the virus on people and communities. However, secondary stressors are circumstances, events or policies that are indirectly related to or are a consequence of an emergency event, which result in emotional strain among affected individuals and make it more difficult for them to return to what is perceived as normality. Examples of secondary stressors include ongoing financial strain, conflict in families and couple relationships, job insecurity and/or loss.

In this case, policies designed to contain the outbreak may have larger social and psychological consequences than the virus itself – at least at this stage …