A man walks with his daughter in Tambora neighborhood, West Jakarta on June 3, 2021. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)

Maintaining Physical, Mental, and Social Health Amid Pandemic

AUGUST 11, 2021

Jakarta. A year and a half has passed since the Covid-19 pandemic first hit Indonesia. 

Sonny B. Harmadi, the Covid-19 task force's behavior change division head, said the prolonged restrictions have shown results, with the bed occupancy rate (BOR) down to 54 percent. Positivity rate and active cases are also declining. And to further reduce the transmission rate, the government has decided to extend the Covid restrictions again.

But as the battle against Covid-19 continues, it is not just our physical health that needs to be taken care of. Mental health is just as important as physical health. In response, the government is working alongside the Indonesian Psychological Association to provide consultations for those who need them.

“Efforts in stopping hoaxes that disturb others, building empathy and gotong royong (‘mutual cooperation’), and echoing positive narratives and messages can help keep people’s mind at peace,” Sonny said.

According to psychiatrist and influencer Erickson Arthur Siahaan, looking after your  mental wellbeing starts from getting to know yourself and your emotions. Followed by managing your stress, recognizing your emotions, scheduling some “me-time”, as well as socializing. Amid these difficult times, digital platforms can help people keep in touch without having to meet in-person.

“Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, eating well, and getting enough sleep are necessary. A healthy body and mental health are interrelated. Physical, mental, and social health must go hand in hand,” Erickson said.

Menjadi Manusia is a digital platform for those who would like to share their stories and worries.

“Sharing your story will lift your emotional burdens. Those who read your stories will feel connected and empowered because they realize they are not alone,” Menjadi Manusia co-founder Rhaka Ghanisatria said.

“We hope that through Menjadi Manusia, we can appreciate other people’s perspectives more, be less judgemental, and make others realize that they are never alone,”  he said.

Rhaka and his friends even raised money for the affected micro, small, and medium enterprises in the Digital Bergerak campaign, and even came up with a pilot concept for a mental health rehabilitation center.

In their statements, Sonny, Erickson, and Rhaka called for cross-professional collaborations towards physically and mentally healthy Indonesia. Helping one another is important in these tough times. Everyone must become a part of the solution.

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