EFFECTS OF QUARANTINE DUE TO COVID-19 PANDEMIC ON RELAPSE AMONG ADULTS PREVIOUSLY DIAGNOSED WITH MENTAL ILLNESS STRESS: CASE OF MATHARI MENTAL HOSPITAL
Purpose of the Study: To examine the effects of quarantine due to Covid-19 pandemic on relapse among adults previously diagnosed with mental illness stress in Mathari Mental Hospital. Specifically the study sought to; determine the mental illness stress relapse rate among adults during Covid-19 pandemic period, establish the psychosocial effects of quarantine due to Covid-19 pandemic on mental illness stress relapse among adults, determine the level of access to treatment services among adults previously diagnosed with mental illness stress in Mathari Mental Hospital and recommend measures to be taken to protect adults previously diagnosed with mental illness stress against relapse in future pandemics.
Statement of the Problem: Studies have shown that due to lack of routine social tasks and also remaining at home for a longer time due to quarantine has impact the psychological well-being of adults previously diagnosed with mental illness stress.
Methodology: The study targeted all adults admitted at Mathari mental hospital with mental conditions and the units of analysis was made up of the healthcare providers at Mathari hospital and caregivers (family members) of the patients. Purposive sampling technique was used to obtain a sample of 10 healthcare providers and 40 caregivers. The collected data was analyzed with the aid of SPSS version 26.0 using descriptive statistics such as frequency and percentage, while qualitative data was analyzed thematically using content analysis.
Result: There was an increase in relapse rate among adult patients previously diagnosed with mental illness stress in Mathari hospital since the onset of Covid-19 pandemic. The study also found that most of the patients admitted with mental illness relapse had developed suicidal thoughts and others exhibited extreme irritability.
Conclusion: The largest public mental health impact has been in the form of stress and anxiety, and predicts a rise in depression, suicide and substance use among adults previously diagnosed with mental illness stress.
Recommendation: There is need for the government to develop a formal mental health response plan specific to the COVID-19 pandemic with allocation of funding for the response and training of community health workers and community health volunteers on psychological first aid to enable access to support for those in need during the pandemic.
Keywords: Quarantine, Mental illness stress, psychosocial effects, Level of access to treatment services, Relapse rate
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