(Brussels, 11 March 2020) The coronavirus outbreak is affecting society at multiple levels. As has been pointed out by the World Health Organization, it is also affecting people’s mental health. The WHO has therefore released targeted Mental Health Consideration guidelines for various groups, such as health care and public service workers; those looking after children or the elderly; and people in isolation. Amongst other things, the guidelines recommend that people: avoid watching, reading or listening to news that could make them feel anxious; do not associate the virus with any one particular ethnicity or nationality; and are supportive of others.
As the European representative of health care workers, EPSU is monitoring the outbreak closely and advises people to remain calm and follow the advice issued by national governments. We also call upon governments and the European Commission to take immediate action to reduce the risks faced by health care workers, which are both mental and physical.