The COVID-19 pandemic surged mental health concerns and has disproportionately impacted women and the LGBTQIA+ sector. Learn about these impacts and how you can help face them.
The COVID-19 pandemic surged mental health concerns and has disproportionately impacted women and the LGBTQIA+ sector.
1. Double burden of labor
Not only did women have to handle work at the frontlines; many women also had to take on the care burden at home. Women had disproportionately more responsibilities, including household chores and homeschooling, all while managing their own psychological responses to COVID-19.
2. Limited community participation for children and elderly women and LGBTQIA+
During quarantine, young children were not allowed to go out and play. While the elderly was not allowed to go out to visit their relatives, go to church, or do other social and potentially helpful activities, which brought anxiety and stress to them, who tended to feel like a burden to their family.
3. Gender-based violence
Violence against women, children, and the LGBTQIA+ rose while in quarantine. Outside of the home, women were sexually harassed at checkpoints and LGBTQIA+ were discriminated against or brutalized by authorities in their communities.
4. More stress for women and LGBTQIA+ from low-income and disadvantaged sectors
Those from low-income and disadvantaged sectors had to find ways to cover their daily needs and keep themselves safe from threats such as hate crimes. Living with constant stress likely caused and exacerbated mental health conditions that may remain unrecognized.
5. Limited services for increased mental health concerns
PTSD, anxiety, and depression became more prevalent while shelters, hotlines, and other services operated in a limited capacity during the pandemic. This lack of access was especially detrimental for those who already had pre-existing mental health conditions.
As the COVID-19 persists in the country, there are many things can be done to support the mental health of women and the LGBTQIA+ community.
1. Share the burden at home
No matter the gender, contribute to chores, child care, elderly care, and other household duties. In your area, campaign to normalize this behavior at home.
2. Organize social activities for children and the elderly online and offline
Help your children and elderly find or create spaces to socialize and help out.
3. Report and share information about gender-based violence
Learn about GBV responders and report cases to them. If you have no cases to report, raise awareness about GBV instead.
4. Aid low-income and disadvantaged sectors
Advocate for sectors that are most disadvantaged inside and outside of the pandemic. Endorse the policies and programs that they need.
5. Advance policies and programs that address violence and mental health
Promote anti-discrimination and anti-violence policies, gender-responsive healthcare for sexual minorities, and gender mainstreaming. Support mental health workers as well!
Take action to boost the mental health of women and the LGBTQIA+ community. Check out this paper to know how.