20% Rise in Mental Illness Amid Lockdown: Survey

Mental health related queries see 50% spike since lockdown

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Mental health
Mental health has seen a significant growth among online consult users in India, not just in metro cities but also for people from non-metro cities following the lockdown. Pixabay

According to a recent survey conducted by the Indian Psychiatry Society, there has been a 20 per cent rise in mental illness cases. This is a health news.

The lockdown has completely changed people’s lifestyle as their movements are restricted. Isolation, social distancing, uncertainty in jobs, constant fear of contracting the virus are causing panic and anxiety attacks among the people.

Online consultation at Practo which is growing at a rate of 100 per cent week on week has been seeing a steep rise in the number of consults coming in for psychiatry.

Mental health
Queries on mental health grew by 80% in the metro cities in the last two weeks while consultations in tier 2+ cities grew by 35%. Pixabay

According to the Practo Health Insights:

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Mental health has seen a significant growth among online consult users in India, not just in metro cities but also for people from non-metro cities following the lockdown Online queries for Psychiatry on Practo’s eConsult platform grew by 50% in the last two weeks.

Most of the queries are coming from people in the age group of 21-30

There has been a significant increase in the number of consultations coming from people aged 60 and above. People in this age group are the second largest group in terms of mental health queries, only behind people in the 21-30 age group

74 percent of all mental health-related consults come from men, while 26% were from women

Mental health
According to a recent survey conducted by the Indian Psychiatry Society, there has been a 20 per cent rise in mental illness cases. Pixabay

Queries on mental health grew by 80% in the metro cities in the last two weeks while consultations in tier 2+ cities grew by 35%

Most of the queries related to mental health were from Delhi NCR, followed by Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Chennai.

In Non-T7 cities, most of the queries came from Phagwara, Rewa, Lucknow, Chandigarh, Ahmedabad, and Jaipur

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Top queries discussed were loneliness, anxiety and stress management, and panic attacks

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Dr. Alexander Kuruvilla, Chief Healthcare Strategy Officer, Practo, says “eConsults are empowering patients and practitioners across the country by improving access to quality health services in difficult situations like these. Fear of the disease, anxiety/loneliness due to social distancing can take a toll on the overall wellbeing during these situations and consulting a specialist will provide them with the much-required support and clarity. Doctors on our platform are consulting patients 24*7 to ensure their patient’s physical and mental health wellbeing. We are committed to our vision of making quality healthcare accessible to all Indians and will continue to provide more support in the coming days.” (IANS)

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Bumble to Give Grants Worth A Lakh Rupees Each to 13 Indian Entrepreneurs

To serve local communities and support small businesses Bumble is giving out grants worth a lakh rupees each to 13 entrepreneurs in India

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Entrepreneurs
social networking app Bumble is giving out grants worth a lakh rupees each to 13 entrepreneurs in India. Pixabay

BY SIDDHI JAIN

In an initiative to serve local communities and support small businesses, social networking app Bumble is giving out grants worth a lakh rupees each to 13 entrepreneurs in India. Part of a larger cohort of 150+ businesses that it is monetarily supporting across 11 countries, the timely move comes at a time when companies find themselves at the brink due to the Covid-19 crisis.

The Bumble Community Grant program, launched in the light of the global pandemic, aims to support local businesses and their workers around the globe, and keep them afloat while money is scarce. The program has been offered in the US, UK, Russia, Germany, Australia, India, France, Canada, Mexico, Ireland, and New Zealand.

“When we first realised things were getting serious in March, we pulled together leaders across the company to figure out how we can support both our employees and our Bumble community of nearly over 90 million users in 150 countries during this unprecedented time. We were all watching the news daily and reading updates hourly. Unfortunately, the overall situation was changing rapidly and there were varying degrees of severity in each market that we operate in. Some areas were going under complete lockdown immediately, while others were a few days or weeks behind.

“As all of this was unfolding, we started seeing early reports that a pandemic of this size and with this level of potential impact could trigger loneliness, isolationism, and economic devastation – and we knew that Bumble could help. From using Bumble as a way to stay connected to real people during this time or to provide monetary support for small business owners, we knew we had to act quickly to support our community,” Priti Joshi, Vice President of Strategy at Bumble told IANSlife in an email.

Beginning March 26, in India, applications were available via an online registration form accessible in all three modes of the app (Date, BFF, and Bizz). Users had the opportunity to submit an entry for themselves as a small business owner or nominate a small business in their community. As the deadline closed in on April 9, the team saw a tremendous response.

Small business
In the light of the global pandemic, this campaign aims to support local businesses and their workers. Pixabay

“Within two weeks, we received over 2,000 entries in India from small businesses that have been impacted by the crisis,” Joshi said.

The 13 cross-industry MSMEs that received the grant include Culture Aangan, a company that is developing villages as tourist destinations; The Wishing Chair, a home-grown women-led design brand creating artisanal products as perfect gifting options; and The Curator Collective which aims to publish works of independent or upcoming visual artists and musicians.

From the fashion segment, recipients include Alankaara India, a small craft-based studio working with small sectors of women SHGs; and Bunavat Retail Private Limited who promote sustainable, ethical and timeless fashion.

In the health, CSR, and business sector they have chosen Bloodport Healthtech Solutions, who save lives using their digital platform for blood banks and blood donation drives; Suicide Prevention India Foundation, a non-profit that offers free counseling services to the Covid-19 affected; Mitti Social Initiatives Foundation, a non-profit working for sustainable livelihood opportunities for persons with disabilities; Thinkerbell Labs that have built a tech ecosystem to enable self-learning and classroom teaching of Braille and will go regional; and Happy Turtle OPC Pvt Ltd, a bootstrapped company that works towards minimising plastic consumption.

In F&B and Hospitality, the grants will be given to The Little Farm Co., who produce fruit, vegetables and spices using organic fertilizers in MP; Happyjars.in, a health and food brand from Haryana that offers natural peanuts, almonds and cashew nut butter; and Poshinda Restaurant, who source ingredients from rural farmers and serve food to the farmers and students who come from rural areas to Ambajogai for work.

Bumble initiative
13 cross-industry MSMEs will receive this grant. Pixabay

Suicide Prevention India Foundation told IANSlife: “We use the WHO-recommended strategy called Gatekeeper Training to prevent suicides. We aim to help individuals using evidence-based interventions by creating awareness through talks and workshops on suicide prevention. COVID-19 has pushed us to aggressively train everybody in our growing circle to counsel those who are emotionally distressed/ suicidal due to the uncertainty/loneliness the pandemic has brought along.

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“Unfortunately, to continue training the mental health professionals we were lacking funds as COVID-19 has impacted our funding pipeline and eliminated our face-to-face business to host training with laymen, students or/and corporate professionals. The current situation has led to an increase in demand but a lesser willingness to pay. There has never been a drastic spike in the incidents of self-harm, suicide ideation or suicide attempts in the recent past. With the grant from Bumble, we will again continue to train the common people and mental health professionals who are our front liners to support emotionally distressed individuals.” The grants will be given to the winners this week, as per Bumble. (IANS)

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39.9 % British Adults Indulged into Sexual Activity During Lockdown

Low levels of sexual activity was found in UK adults during lockdown

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Adults
Approximately 40% of UK adults were found sexually active during lockdown. Pixabay

Only four in 10 adults have had sex at least once a week during the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK, according to a new study. For the findings, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, the research team investigated the levels of sexual activity during social distancing and self-isolation.

“When starting this research we expected there to be a high level of sexual activity while social isolating at home, but interestingly we found a very low level,” said study researcher Dr Lee Smith from Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) in the UK.

According to the study, Only 39.9 per cent of the 868 British adults surveyed for the research had taken part in any form of sexual activity during the previous seven days. The study found that being younger, male, married and a consumer of alcohol was associated with greater sexual activity.

Previous research has shown an association between sexual activity and physical health, including helping to protect older adults against cardiovascular events. Frequent sexual activity has also been associated with various mental health benefits and improved cognitive function.

Adult
The study found that being younger, male, married and a consumer of alcohol was associated with greater sexual activity. Pixabay

The findings of this new study suggest that the UK government’s public health messaging around COVID-19 self-isolation and social distancing could include promoting sexual activity as a way of maintaining physical and mental health. This low level of sexual activity could be explained by people currently feeling anxious and stressed owing to the pandemic and not being in the mood to engage in the act, the researcher said.

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Moreover, those who are not married or cohabiting may not currently be able to meet up with their sexual partners and similarly, those who use online apps to facilitate casual sex will currently not be able to do this. “A lot of my previous research has shown that frequent and trouble-free sex life is important for higher levels of enjoyment of life and general mental health, and this is particularly true for older adults,” Smith said.

However, this study showed that older adults were less likely than younger adults to engage in sexual activity. (IANS)

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Oil Pulling: An Ayurvedic Treatment to Boost Immunity

Oil pulling is an ancient treatment dateing back to more than 3,000 years

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Oil pulling
Oil pulling can boost your Immunity. Pixabay

Oil pulling is regarded as an ancient Ayurveda treatment that dates back to more than 3,000 years.

Considered as a detoxification therapy, it is done by taking a spoonful of cold pressed virgin oil (preferably coconut oil) and swishing it in your mouth for about 5 minutes, similar to using a mouthwash. The purpose of oil pulling is to swish the oil around in your mouth, between the teeth to get rid of bacteria in the mouth, spit it out and immediately rinse with some warm water.

Nutritionist Sheryl Salis shares how oil pulling that can help improve your immunity, uses of virgin coconut oil and the method of oil pulling:

Oil pulling is an alternative health practice gaining traction in recent times not only for oral health but also as an immunity boosting measure. As the mouth is a home to millions of microbes including bacteria, the oil pulling process helps get rid of these bacteria through swishing oil in the mouth and in-between the teeth. Swishing the oil for a prolonged period cleanses the mouth and decreases the bacterial load. Not only does this promote oral hygiene, this technique aids in overall health and well-being.

hand-sanitize
Other than basic precautions like sanitizing and washing hands, immunty is the key factor to protect yourself from COVID-19 pandemic. Pixabay

With the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, it is recommended to build and maintain a strong immune system to help combat the risk of being infected. While external precautionary measures like sanitizing and washing hands are essential, maintaining basic hygiene measures and eating healthy to build one’s immunity is of utmost importance.

Using virgin coconut oil to build immunity

Cold pressed virgin coconut oil is a superfood recommended for its myriad health benefits; it is a rich source of naturally occurring Lauric acid and contains Vitamin E which helps to improve body’s immunity. The medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs) that contain lauric acid and caprylic acid strengthens the immune system and has anti-viral properties. Therefore, Adding 2 spoons of virgin coconut oil to the diet every day can help improve the immunity and maintain a healthy, holistic lifestyle.

In most Indian household’s, virgin coconut oil is a staple for consumption and beauty practices and is slowly making its way in the mainstream wellness community for oil pulling. Known for its immune boosting properties, virgin coconut oil can be introduced as an effective technique into your heath regime.

Oil Pulling
Virgin coconut oil is a staple for consumption and beauty practices. Pixabay

How to do it?

eStart by swishing it in your mouth on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning

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eTake about 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil in the mouth and swish it for about 3-5 minutes.

eDiscard the oil by spitting it out. Do not swallow the oil as you will ingest the toxins with it as well

eRinse the mouth with warm water and brush your teeth as usual

eRepeat the process 3-4 times a week. (IANS)