Psychological Well being: The hidden pandemic in a world remade by COVID-19

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 in opposition to 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, concern, disappointment, and uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic profoundly impacted psychological well being internationallyWithin the US alone, more than 32% of shoppers reported experiencing anxiousness or despair because of the pandemic.10  

How we react to that impression might 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 wish – to carry consciousness to these bearing the brunt of the psychological well being toll. 


The impression of the pandemic on healthcare staff can’t be overstated. Employees 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 specifically, experiencing staggering quantities of burnout.6,7 The elevated demand on schedules precipitated 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 another barrier to in search of 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 studying, they’ve been tasked with main their college students by means of a time of disaster, caring for and curating their social and emotional wants. Underneath regular circumstances, educators are susceptible to burnout, even vicariously taking up trauma or secondary traumatic stress of scholars in disaster.8 The pandemic solely intensified this with complete lecture rooms of scholars navigating something from concern to grief. Reported burnout has nearly doubled in educators, in that very same examine a surprising one quarter of lecturers stated they had been prone to depart the career after the 2020-21 college 12 months.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. Nonetheless, the pandemic put in stark reduction the disparities which have all the time 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 with a purpose to shoulder childcare tasks.2 This has unsurprisingly had a big impact on psychological well being for each demographics1, to not point out exacerbating current disparities and shaking the inspiration of potential future beneficial properties.  

Each governments and employers have traditionally struggled to handle the necessity for complete psychological well being applications. And whereas general 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 12 months that might be synonymous with racial and social justice causes, this once more is another space the place systemic inequities depart probably the most weak amongst us with out the vital, 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 connected 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 12 months, we’ve helped create sturdy digital care applications for psychological well being suppliers –  and closed the digital divide by means of 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 suitable instruments, serving to them to fund and finance the platforms and techniques they should give attention to their college students – and themselves. As an organization Cisco has been targeted on ending the stigma surrounding psychological well being amongst our 75,000+ staff, and thus the worldwide neighborhoodWhereas COVID-19 has exacerbated an current drawback, 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 taking place in our communities on your personal social channels utilizing #mentalhealthmatters and #mentalhealthwareness 

If you wish to maintain up-to-date on vital points throughout industries, comply with our #HealthcareNow, #EducationNow, #GovernmentNow sequence.  


  1. Widespread Wealth Fund, 2020 
  2. McKinsey, 2020 
  3. McKinsey, 2021 
  4. Rand Well being Quarterly, 2017 
  5. Psychological Well being Disparities: Numerous Populations 
  6. HealthcareDive, 2021 
  7. HealthcareDive, 2020 
  8., 2021 
  9. EducationWeek, 2021. 
  10. PwC Well being Analysis Institute client survey, September 2020