Health and Wellness
Healthy living is a difficult state to achieve at the best of times. How can we create and sustain good health, whilst facing an unprecedented public health challenge which has left a trail of economic and social upheaval?
On 21 March 2020, as nation after nation succumbed to the largest lockdowns of our time, Mawlana Hazar Imam issued a directive to establish a Covid-19 Global Task Force and Steering Committee to coordinate the Jamati and Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) response to the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Last March, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak to be a global pandemic. After 12 months of mixed emotions and disruption to our lives, what have we learned, and where do we go from here?
Nine Ismaili nurses and midwives have been honoured in the World Health Organization’s 100 Outstanding Nurses and Midwives list, in recognition of their vital role in providing health services. Throughout their careers, they have worked to promote women’s health and empowerment in their respective regions and beyond.
I always saw the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) as a daunting exam; nevertheless, the fact that so many students would be taking it with me physically gave me some sense of moral support, even if that support was coming from strangers.
The phrase, Log kya kahenge meaning ‘what will people say,’ highlights a mindset within South Asian communities about the way people act, hold expectations, or even choose to participate in programs. This mindset has also been a contributing roadblock for many people when talking about and seeking out mental health support.
In February of this year, before the global pandemic emerged, an audience of 289 gathered at Westwinds Jamatkhana in Calgary, Alberta to learn about mental health and suicide prevention in youth through a dramatic performance entitled Screaming in Silence. National and local institutional leadership and family units consisting of multiple generations were in attendance.
During the pandemic, mental health has come to the forefront of many discussions, not only because of the effects of the virus on the body, but because of additional factors such as changes in daily life, job stress, stay at home orders, and reductions in social interactions within and outside the Jamat. A silver lining of the virus is the growing awareness and more frequent conversations around the topic of mental health.
The Covid-19 crisis has only added to our pre-existing stresses and worries. With new lifestyle changes, unusual working environments, and restrictions on social interactions, the pandemic has caught us off guard and unprepared. Although many of us are adjusting to a new normal, it is quite natural to feel overwhelmed and experience burnout. What can we do to help? Here are some tips to try out.
The Covid-19 outbreak has not only drastically affected healthcare systems, major economies, social interactions, education, and almost every aspect of normal human life, but has also brought about unexpected, unprecedented, and rather sudden changes in our lives, which most of us were probably not ready for. On World Mental Health Day, 10 October, we find out how to deal with these circumstances and strive towards healthy minds and healthy lives.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, 36 per cent of Americans say coronavirus is having a serious impact on their mental health. This means that in every group of three friends, at least one could be at risk of developing a mental health condition.
Mawlana Hazar Imam has frequently commented on the value of sharing our time and knowledge with Jamats around the world and with the communities in which they live. Canadian Ismaili health professionals have taken that message to heart, having a long history of partnering with the agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) to improve the quality of life of people around the world.