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Discovery Podcasts - COVID-19 and your health


Have you been diagnosed with COVID-19? Here are top tips to help you to maintain your mental health

Cassey Chambers – Operations Director at the South African Depression and Anxiety Group – explains the emotions that accompany being diagnosed with COVID19. She also explores the sort of support you will need while you recover, to allow you to continue to look after yourself and your loved ones as best you can.


Understand how to help children through COVID-19-related stress

If you are a parent or if you care for children, then this podcast is for you! Professor Renata Schoeman shares brilliant tips on helping children to cope with the disruption brought to their lives by COVID-19 on all levels. Prof. Schoeman is a psychiatrist in private practice and co-founder of the Goldilocks and the Bear Foundation (which provides screening for early identification of children with ADHD, mental health and learning disorders). She is also head of the Healthcare Leadership MBA at the University of Stellenbosch Business School.


Practical tips to implement right now! Stay mentally healthy and manage COVID-19’s impact on your life

Thinking positively during a crisis is often easier said than done. But, it’s really important that we try to make sense of the situation that we are in. It’s also so important to focus on our mental health as we endure the disruption brought to our lives by the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s okay to feel anxious and it’s okay to feel stressed. However, there is so much that we can do to help us to cope. Cassey Chambers – Operations Director at the South African Depression and Anxiety Group – shares practical tools to help us to manage our lives, daily routines and more – whether we are working from, looking after family or alone at home.


Key advice to keep our elderly loved ones mentally and physically healthy during COVID-19

Just because an elderly person isn’t asking for help, doesn’t mean that they are coping. How can we ensure that our elderly loved ones maintain their physical and mental wellbeing during the COVID-19 pandemic? What are the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 in elderly people and why are the elderly at risk of severe illness if they contract COVID-19? How will families know when to seek out emergency medical care for an elderly person? What sort of daily routine will support the elderly through every day? How can technology and apps help to maintain their cognitive health and also stay in contact with loved ones? Psychiatrist Dr Ryan Fuller, founder of the Memorycare healthcare practice, and who specialises in old age psychiatry, shares excellent advice on all of this and more.


How to help teens manage their mental health during COVID-19 and beyond

The changes that COVID19 has brought to our lives that can cause fear, anxiety, stress and confusion for a teenager. What are the signs and symptoms that parents should look out for as indicators that a teen is feeling overwhelmed? Access to local and global news around the pandemic, information obtained on social media and general uncertainty around the future can all affect a teenager’s ability to cope with schoolwork, cope with isolation at home - and even present as physical symptoms such as stomach cramps or other symptoms. Cassey Chambers – Operations Director at SADAG – shares tips and tools for parents and caregivers around recognising that a teenager is handling too much stress, and how to help them.


Could you be experiencing grief in the face of COVID-19 and lockdown?

Many of us were holding on to the notion of a 21-day lockdown. The most recent extension of the stay-at-home period to the end of April 2020, has reinforced all that the term “lockdown” implies - a loss of freedom, choice, movement, connection and more. Dr Colinda Linde, clinical psychologist and SADAG board member, explains why we might perceive this loss as real grief. You may well recognise the phases of grief that Dr Linde describes in your own responses. However, did you know that there are healthy ways to express your panic and anxiety, anger or other very valid emotions that result from feeling powerless? Dr Linde tells us how to navigate the journey as best we can, starting today.


Coping with a child who has autism, at home, during COVID-19

Managing the daily lives of typically developing children during lockdown is challenging for any parent or caregiver. However, for parents of a child who has autism, the stay-at-home period and all measures aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 can be particularly challenging. Ilana Gerschlowitz is a mother of three sons, two diagnosed with autism, and author of “Saving my sons – A journey with autism”. She is also the director of the Star Academy. Ilana shares invaluable tips around helping a child with autism through the day, and keeping them safe and healthy through COVID-19’s disruptions.


Dessy Tzoneva: Dealing with the loss of a loved on to COVID-19

Many people the world over have had to face the loss of a loved on to COVID-19. How should we communicate with and support a loved one who contracts COVID-19 and develops serious illness that threatens their life? And, how might we come to terms with their death? Grief is a unique experience for each of us, says clinical psychologist Dessy Tzoneva. And, the current pressures brought to bear by COVID19 could make grieving even more challenging at this time.


Dr Colinda Linde: How to manage our response to COVD-19 as we return to the workplace

Clinical psychologist, Dr Colinda Linde, explains the emotional intricacies of returning to work after lockdown, and overturning fear and stigma related to COVID-19. Some may feel fear in the face of interaction with colleagues who have contracted or been exposed to COVID-19. But if we allow stigma and discrimination in the face of COVID-19, we will cause people to hide their symptoms or deter them from seeking medical help. How can we all respond to support each other to stay safe and healthy in the workplace, going forward?


Dr Ryan Fuller: How does the COVID-19 pandemic affect people with dementia?

We are all concerned for the health of elderly loved ones who are at high-risk of severe illness should they contract COVID-19. But, for older people who live with dementia - and their caregivers - this is a particularly trying time. People who have dementia have a limited understanding of COVID-19 as well as of the preventive habits needed to keep them safe. Old age psychiatrist Dr Ryan Fuller explains dementia and its causes, how to keep a person with dementia safe in the face of the pandemic, and the role of a care centres, primary caregivers and loved ones at this time.


COVID-19 and maintaining mental health during and after a pregnancy

The mental wellbeing of a pregnant woman will affect the way in which her pregnancy progresses and also impact her unborn child on many levels. So what does the stress and worry that we all feel in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic mean for all the mothers to be out there? Professor Renata Schoeman is a psychiatrist and Head of the MBA in Healthcare Leadership at the University of Stellenbosch Business School. She is also an alumna of the Discovery Foundation and has contributed extensively to mental healthcare in South Africa. And she is particularly passionate about the subject of mental health in pregnancy for a very special reason – she is a new mom! She gave birth to her little boy very recently … and found herself in her final trimester when COVID19 reached to our shores.


Keeping children and their parents mentally healthy through COVID-19

Children thrive when they feel safe and protected, when their routines are in place and when their family and community are healthy and stable. However, COVID-19 pandemic and the global measures enforced to contain its spread have disrupting nearly every aspect of children’s lives. Clinical psychologist Joanna Kleovoulou explains the impact these dynamics have children and teenagers. She also delves into why it is critical that parents focus on their own mental health and that of their children to mitigate the impact of pandemic-related life changes on children’s future mental health.


Our mental health at work before, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has put the spotlight on mental illness. A common statistic cited before the pandemic was that 1 in 7 people at work would have had a common mental health disorder at any given time. Now, our lives and ways of working have been disrupted in significant ways. Psychiatrist, Prof. Christoffel Grobler discusses the need for added sensitivity to mental illness in the workplace going forward. There will be a great need to recognise the signs of mental distress and ensure early intervention, to enable employees to continue to function as productive members of a business. Prof. Grobler is an Associate Professor at Walter Sisulu University and Member of the South African Medical Association Committee for Human Rights, Law and Ethics.


Practical tools for staying grounded when you feel fear and anxiety

The presence of COVID-19 in our world has many of us are worried about our own safety and the safety of our loved ones. For essential workers and people who are returning to their places of employment as lockdown conditions ease, these fears may become overwhelming. Educational psychologist Zaakirah Mohamed says each and every one of us feels fear, stress and anxiety at the moment and these feelings, or any forms of mental illness we may have, are not a failure on our behalf. We must reach out for help. She also shares several practical tools through which we can help ourselves to cope, from mindfulness and breathing exercises, the 5-4-3-2-1 sensory exercise, focusing on what we can control, avoiding the news and social media first thing in the morning and last thing at night before bed and more great tips and tools to support our mental health.


Have you been retrenched, or lost your job? Re-think your skills

Losing a job means losing income, security, purpose and more. Clinical psychologist, Dr Colinda Linde says it’s to expected that when we are faced with this sort of situation, we will go through stages of grieving. She clarifies what to expect emotionally and physically as well as how to better cope. Then, she inspires us to really think about our skills in new ways that could open up avenues we haven’t before thought to consider.


Are you a leader or managing having to let people go?

The COVID-19 pandemic has come upon us quickly and threatens both our survival as people, but also that of organisations and businesses large and small. Many people have already faced salary cuts or job losses Clinical psychologist, Dr Colinda Linde knows that many business owners and leaders are now faced with letting go of staff. They also face the anxiety and fear of job loss themselves. How should leaders cope with the decisions that must be made, and how should they communicate these decisions to their staff?


Why does the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?

A must-listen podcast for anyone who is struggling to cope at this time! Zamo Mbele, a clinical psychologist and board member at the South African Depression and Anxiety Group – SADAG brings profound insight into the ways in which the experience of the pandemic and also contracting COVID-19 can result in trauma that develops into post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In a podcast that every one of us should listen to, Zamo speaks to the trauma that might be experienced by people of all ages, as well as by frontline healthcare workers. He explores the emotions we feel at this time and reminds us how critical it is to be taking care of our mental health at this time.


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