Ministry of Health addresses mental health on today’s Ask The Experts
August 25, 2020
Ministry of Health says focus on things that can be controlled to help fight pandemic-related stress
August 25, 2020

“Continuous exposure to COVID-19 news is bad for your mental health,” says Ministry of Health

Remote Control and Smart TV

Posted: Tuesday, August 25, 2020. 10:53 am CST.

By BBN Staff: The Ministry of Health (MOH) is advising Belizeans to be mindful of how much time they spend listening to, reading, and viewing updates on the COVID-19 pandemic, as spending too much time doing so can have an adverse effect on their mental health.

Speaking at today’s session of Ask the Experts, the Ministry’s Mental Health Coordinator, Iveth Quintanilla, acknowledged that it is important to remain informed; however, there must be a limit to the amount of media coverage consumed daily as much of the coverage tends to be negative. Quintanilla explained that prolonged exposure to negative news coverage can erode one’s mental state and can even have an adverse physical effects manifesting.

“So when you get the urge to check up on the updates, see if you can pause, notice the urge and you can delay acting on the urge…” Quintanilla said. “Schedule a specific time to check in with the news instead. And it’s also okay to take a break from conversations with others about COVID-19 and suggest talking about other topics.”

She stressed that, given the number of updates that can occur in a single day, continually checking those updates can increase anxiety levels. The recommendation to limit exposure to media coverage is endorsed by the World Health Organization.


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