To respond to the current COVID-19 pandemic and as a consequence of NCDC’s request for additional call centre support, the MMF with its partners developed an initiative to use real-time technology to provide wider diagnostic capability and support throughout the country.
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Mental Health Frequently Asked Questions

Home  /  Mental Health Frequently Asked Questions

It is a state of well being in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.

We should all take care of our mental health which includes taking care of our thoughts, feelings and behaviours.ble to make a contribution to his or her community.

Mental illnesses are medical conditions that disrupt a person’s thinking, feelings, moods, ability to relate to others, the quality of life, and daily functioning.

Research shows that there is sufficient evidence to indicate that many of these conditions are caused by a combination of biological, genetic, psychological, and environmental factors.

According to the WHO, mental disorders affect 1 in 4 people.  It is reported by experts that mental illnesses are very common, even more so than cancer, diabetes or heart disease.

In adults:

  • Confused thinking
  • Long-lasting sadness or irritability
  • Extreme highs and lows in mood
  • Excessive fear, worrying or anxiety
  • Social withdrawal
  • Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Strong feelings of anger
  • Delusions or hallucinations
  • Increasing inability to cope with daily problems and activities
  • Thought of suicide
  • Denial of obvious problems
  • Many unexplained physical problems (stomach pains, headaches, pains in the body etc)
  • Abuse of alcohol/drugs


In older children and preteens:

  • Abuse of drugs and alcohol
  • Inability to cope with daily problems and activities
  • Changes in sleeping or eating habits
  • Excessive complaints of physical problems
  • Defying authority, skipping school, stealing or damaging property
  • Long-lasting negative mood, suicidal thoughts
  • Frequent outbursts of anger


In much younger children:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Frequent temper tantrums
  • Persistent nightmares
  • Persistent disobedience and aggressive behavior
  • Worrying excessively and extreme anxiety
  • Very poor concentration and disruptive in school

Most people who are diagnosed early and receive appropriate treatment will respond well and live productive lives.

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Psychosis
  • Psychosomatic problems

The most important thing is to talk to someone you trust.

  • If possible, only leave your home for necessary appointments with your therapist.
  • Stay away from people who are sick.
  • Avoid contact with others, especially those who have travelled or been exposed to the virus.

Share simple facts about what is going on and give clear information about how to reduce risk of infection in words people with/without cognitive impairment can understand.

Pay attention to the news you need to keep you safe and in limited amounts. Limit your news intake to 1-2 times per day.

Develop a plan for staying at home. Maintain familiar routines whenever possible.

Seek professional help when you need it. Sustained anxiety and stress can weaken the immune system.

If you or someone you know has warning signs or symptoms of suicide, particularly if there is a change in the behavior or a new behavior, get help as soon as possible.

Suicidal thoughts or actions are a sign of extreme distress and an alert that someone needs help.

The behaviors listed below may be signs that someone is thinking about suicide.

  • Talking about wanting to die or wanting to kill themselves
  • Talking about feeling empty, hopeless, or having no reason to live
  • Planning or looking for a way to kill themselves, such as searching online, stockpiling pills, or newly acquiring potentially lethal items (e.g., firearms, ropes)
  • Talking about great guilt or shame
  • Talking about feeling trapped or feeling that there are no solutions
  • Feeling unbearable pain, both physical or emotional
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Using alcohol or drugs more often
  • Acting anxious or agitated
  • Withdrawing from family and friends
  • Changing eating and/or sleeping habits
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Taking risks that could lead to death, such as reckless driving
  • Talking or thinking about death often
  • Displaying extreme mood swings, suddenly changing from very sad to very calm or happy
  • Giving away important possessions
  • Saying goodbye to friends and family
  • Putting affairs in order, making a will

Suicide is when people direct violence at themselves with the intent to end their lives, and they die because of their actions.

A suicide attempt is when people harm themselves with the intent to end their lives, but they do not die because of their actions.

Suicide does not discriminate. People of all genders, ages, and ethnicities can be at risk.

The main risk factors for suicide are:

  • A prior suicide attempt
  • Depression and other mental health disorders
  • Substance abuse disorder
  • Family history of a mental health or substance abuse disorder
  • Family history of suicide
  • Family violence, including physical or sexual abuse
  • Having guns or other firearms in the home
  • Being in prison or jail
  • Being exposed to others’ suicidal behavior, such as a family member, peer, or media figure
  • Medical illness
  • Being between the ages of 15 and 24 years or over age 60
MMF – MedAssist Initiative

To respond to the current COVID-19 pandemic, and as a consequence of NCDC’s request for
additional call centre support, the MMF with its partners are developing an initiative to use real-time technology to provide wider diagnostic capability and support throughout the country. With this initiative, the aim is to provide access to relevant and necessary medical information and support to end-users progressively first using an automated chatbot then live chats and call-centre capability with the support of medical students and students of other healthcare disciplines and medical doctors. The ultimate aim is that support for end-users will escalate as is required including being able to engage directly with medical professionals that will consult and treat remotely.
This would require MMF to map all pharmacies, primary healthcare centres, local medicine stores, NCDC testing centres, NCDC isolation centres, Partner hospitals, who would then work closely with Replace doctors with medical professionals.
This will then allow the NCDC centres to focus on its core responsibility of critical patient management and its core work of contact tracing, categorisation, isolation and treatment of confirmed COVID cases.