Addressing Persons with Disabilities and those Working with them during the COVID-19 Emergency Situation MENTAL HEALTH AND PSYCHOSOCIAL RESPONSES TO COVID-19

It is common knowledge that in times of emergencies, including health emergencies, persons with disabilities, among other groups who are vulnerable are usually affected differently. Their mental health is usually affected negatively. It is not only the mental health of persons with disabilities that is affected but that of their partners, support persons and families. Therefore, this article will Endeavour to focus on how the COVID-19 pandemic may affect the mental health of persons with disabilities and those who work around them.

It is essential to understand what “mental health” is because a mention of the term usually is received with negative feelings. Many people associate “mental health” as an equivalent of “mental illness” when it is not. According to the World Health Organisation (2015) mental health is a state of well-being in which the individual realizes 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.