In their two years living with the coronavirus, people in Slovakia have got used to many previously unfamiliar things – wearing masks and respirators, scanning daily data on the development of the pandemic, social distancing and quarantining, and observing the ever-changing rules intended to combat the spread of the disease.
Along with such novelties, which have long since become the new normal during these pandemic years, many people have also had to face serious health complications, the loss of loved ones, isolation and reduced social contact, and financial worries including loss of income.
The uncertain situation has affected many – perhaps most – people, and Slovak psychologists and psychiatrists agree that there has been a significant increase in patients seeking help from mental health specialists.
“There are more clients than I have ever seen in my 25-year practice,” Tibor Hrozáň, a clinical psychologist who offers psychotherapy in Bratislava, told The Slovak Spectator.
He explained that not only have waiting times at his practice been prolonged, but he has also had to refuse clients, having run out of free appointments. One-on-one therapy at a minimum frequency of one meeting per week means there is a limit to the number of clients he can see, he explained.
His colleagues shared similar experiences. Despite the fact that more people than ever in Slovakia have decided to seek professional help, they point out that it is still not easily available to everyone because of long waiting times or the costs involved.