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MHPSS lessons learned from global disasters and the coronavirus

Ea Suzanne Akasha interviews professor dr. Barbara Juen about the psychosocial effects during COVID-19 

In the first part of the interview, Barbara Juen describes the disaster cycle and COVID-19 efforts in relation to promoting resistance within mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. She emphasizes that action needs to be taken toward all four phases simultaneously, which requires significant capacity building, acute interventions for people currently experiencing stress, while also reflecting on the lessons learned from this pandemic so far.

The second part of the interview presents factors that can increase resilient to MHPSS risks during a crisis. This include coping strategies such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle and social contact and also having the ability to accept a certain level of anxiety and negative emotions. She emphasizes the importance of maintaining psychological flexibility, which is the ability to adapt to new situations and tolerate certain levels of disturbing emotions. Professor Barbara Juen discusses certain empowering mindset changes that can improve potential mental health issues, in which people transform their self-perceptions from a passive victim of the pandemic to an active survivor.

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