The Lancet published an article at the end of February 2020 titled “The psychological impact of quarantine and how to reduce it”. The article reviews several papers, most of which reported negative psychological effects including anger, confusion and post-traumatic stress symptoms in past epidemics.
Some of the key stressors during quarantine have been identified as:
- Duration of quarantine
- Fears of infection
- Frustration and boredom
- Inadequate supplies
- Inadequate information
And after quarantine, the key stressors are:
- Impacts on finances
The paper concludes that mental health impacts of a quarantine can be seen many months and, in some cases, years after it ends. It rightly observes that some of these effects are inevitable but if measures are taken, the negative impacts on mental health can be reduced if not removed.
Intuitively, at the start of a lockdown, one might find themselves enthusiastic and ready for quarantine. However, as time passes, many factors may lead to a deterioration in your mental health in the form of stress, boredom and anxiety – a feeling of “isolation fatigue”.
We are all obliged to follow the in-country directives and guidelines set-out by governments and health authorities. While we are limited in the extent that we can assist all our clients, we continue to strive to find ways in which we can care for you.
Fears of infection, inadequate information and financial impacts have been identified as key stressors during quarantine, and we have suggested practical ways to reduce the burden of these stresses for you:
Access a telehealth service:
- We recently partnered with Dial Daktari in Kenya – this is a telehealth service available to all our clients. We urge you to use this service to connect to a professional medical consultant who you can rely on for sound medical advice, whether it is related to Covid-19 or any other ailment.
- If you have an International Health Insurance plan, your insurer may also have their own Virtual Doctor service, free-of-charge for you to access.
Utilise your Employee Assistance Program (EAP):
- While the physical medical needs and concerns with regards to Covid-19 are at the forefront, we appreciate the psychological impact that this may be having on our customers and their families.
- If you have an International Health Insurance policy, you may have access to EAP on your insurance plan and we strongly advise you utilise this benefit if you have it. These programs offer 24/7 confidential short-term counselling support to help you manage stress, anxiety, grief, financial concerns and much more.
- If you don’t have an EAP service through your insurance plan, Dial Daktari gives you access to psychologists and counsellors, should you need to speak with one.
We hosted a Webinar earlier in the week with Dr. Don Othoro (founder of Dial Daktari) which you can listen to here. More information about Dial Daktari and how to access this service can be accessed here.
To see whether your insurance plan includes this benefit and how to access it, please refer to our Covid-19 portal. Alternatively, feel free to get in touch with your dedicated Customer Relations Manager with your questions.
Opportunities to adjust your plan and flexible payment options:
- We understand the impacts this pandemic may be having on your liquidity
- While not all insurance plans offer flexible payment options due to regulatory restrictions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your Customer Relations Manager to talk you through your options
JWS’ motto of ‘caring for you’ is at the heart of all we do, and our duty of care to our customers is even more important given the challenges we all currently face. We understand that some of our clients may not be aware of the useful additional benefits highlighted in this message, so we hope you’ve found this information useful.