The Hidden Pandemic – Claves de Salud Event

In this event, we will focus on COVID-19’s impacts on mental health among populations in vulnerable contexts. We will learn first-hand about the current situations in indigenous, Afro-descendant and last mile communities. What resources have they been using? What urgent psychosocial support and psychological first aid (PFA) measures should we adopt to bring visibility to a hidden pandemic, which causes enormous, yet often silent suffering?

Internews, together with project funder Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP), local partner organizations, and the Internews Health Journalism Network (HJN), has initiated a series of virtual conversations with health journalists and experts in the field. These sessions include insights from traditional medicine and are intended to enhance available information about the COVID-19 pandemic through cross-cultural perspectives.

The pandemic has forced us to deal with enormous uncertainty, fear of illness, loss of loved ones, economic impacts, and in many cases, job loss. The consequences go far beyond the COVID-19 illness, affecting the mental health of many people in vulnerable contexts. In particular, depression, sleep disturbance, increased consumption of alcohol, tobacco and drugs, and increased domestic violence have contributed to a greater need for mental health care, which has often gone neglected. Anxiety disorder alone affects approximately 27% of young people between the ages of 13 and 29 in Latin America.

In many countries, health services have been impaired and have not been able to attend to the most-affected people, who are primarily women, low-income individuals or those with previous mental health conditions who live in vulnerable communities.

On May 12, 2022, Sandra Herrera, clinical psychologist, Pablo Montoya, director of the Colombian organization Sinergias, and Rider Minotta, an indigenous psychology student from Vaupés at the Universidad Externado de Colombia, will discuss the impact of COVID-19 with an intercultural understanding of mental health. Nathaly Espitia Díaz, Program Officer at Internews, will serve as moderator.

Date: Thursday, May 12, 2022

Time: 9:00 am UTC -5 (Ecuador, Peru, Colombia)

  • 8:00 am Mexico.
  • 10:00 am Bolivia.

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Interested attendees can register through this form.