Mental Health: The hidden pandemic in a world remade by COVID-19

While we grappled bodily with COVID-19, donning masks and utilizing hand sanitizer to guard ourselves towards an unseen virus, one other invisible pandemic was taking maintain.  

Behind snarky memes and jokes about too many wine bottles on the curb, lies a grim actuality: the upheaval, isolation, worry, unhappiness, and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic profoundly impacted psychological well being internationallyWithin the US alone, more than 32% of customers reported experiencing anxiousness or melancholy on account of the pandemic.10  

How we react to that influence may redefine our communities and assist us transfer towards a more healthy, extra inclusive future. However first, we have to perceive how deep our collective psychological well being points runMoreover, there are industries and communities inconsistently impacted by the pandemic and we need – and want – to convey consciousness to these bearing the brunt of the psychological well being toll. 

Woman joining virtual appointment from home


The influence of the pandemic on healthcare staff can’t be overstated. Staff have battled an unpredictable illness for over 14 months, caring for the unwell and witnessing unprecedented lossand they are reaching a breaking level. More than 60% of healthcare staff stated that the pandemic has negatively affected their psychological well being with physicians, ladies particularly, experiencing staggering quantities of burnout.6,7 The elevated demand on schedules brought about some staff to report that even when that they had entry to psychological well being companies, they couldn’t take the time from work to make the most of them,6 adding yet one more barrier to looking for psychological well being companies when they’re wanted most.  

Student joining virtual session


Educators too have been requested to hold greater than their share. As well as to reimagining training and pivoting in a single day to distance learning, they’ve been tasked with main their college students via a time of disaster, caring for and curating their social and emotional wants. Underneath regular circumstances, educators are susceptible to burnout, even vicariously taking over trauma or secondary traumatic stress of scholars in disaster.8 The pandemic solely intensified this with entire school rooms of scholars navigating something from worry to grief. Reported burnout has nearly doubled in educators, in that very same examine a surprising one quarter of academics mentioned they had been prone to go away the occupation after the 2020-21 faculty yr.9  

Woman joining telehealth appointment from home with child

Communities and Authorities 

In some methods, the COVID-19 pandemic is a generationally defining second – an occasion we collectively skilled collectively. Nevertheless, the pandemic put in stark reduction the disparities which have at all times existed in our communities and on the world stage.  

Instantly, minorities and ladies skilled extra socio-economic ramifications from the worldwide shutdowns.1 And because the months wore on, ladies stepped again or left the workforce in unprecedented numbers so as to shoulder childcare tasks.2 This has unsurprisingly had a big impact on psychological well being for each demographics1, to not point out exacerbating present disparities and shaking the muse of potential future positive factors.  

Each governments and employers have traditionally struggled to handle the necessity for complete psychological well being applications. And whereas total the stigma round reaching out for assistance is declining – minority teams report extra self-stigma and expertise drastic disparity for psychological well being supply.4,5 In a yr that can be synonymous with racial and social justice causes, this once more is yet one more space the place systemic inequities go away essentially the most susceptible amongst us with out the essential, life-saving companies they deserve.  

Cisco Addressing Psychological Well being 

At Cisco we’re dedicated to creating an inclusive restoration and future for all – and we all know higher psychological well being applications in addition to lowering the boundaries and stigma hooked up to asking for assist are key to that mission. Technology can play an enormous position in creating entry to care and constructing the connections essential to create a more healthy, extra empathetic world. 

Within the final yr, we’ve helped create robust virtual care programs for psychological well being suppliers –  and closed the digital divide via the use of digital entrance door and affected person outreach applied sciences. Seamless applied sciences are additionally taking training additional and we’re serving to empower educators with the precise instruments, serving to them to fund and finance the platforms and programs they should deal with their college students – and themselves. As an organization Cisco has been centered on ending the stigma surrounding psychological well being amongst our 75,000+ workers, and thus the worldwide groupWhereas COVID-19 has exacerbated an present downside, we hope it’s a catalyst for consciousness and alter that was desperately wanted earlier than March 2020. 

All of us can do extra to create a more healthy world. Make certain to boost consciousness concerning the challenges occurring in our communities on your individual social channels utilizing #mentalhealthmatters and #mentalhealthwareness 

If you wish to preserve up-to-date on essential points throughout industries, comply with our #HealthcareNow, #EducationNow, #GovernmentNow collection.  


  1. Common Wealth Fund, 2020 
  2. McKinsey, 2020 
  3. McKinsey, 2021 
  4. Rand Health Quarterly, 2017 
  5. Mental Health Disparities: Diverse Populations 
  6. HealthcareDive, 2021 
  7. HealthcareDive, 2020 
  8., 2021 
  9. EducationWeek, 2021. 
  10. PwC Health Research Institute consumer survey, September 2020 


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