School of Social Sciences

Clinical Sociologist Presents Paper on Stress and Mental Health Implications of COVID-19

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Clinical Sociologist in UKZN’s College of Humanities Professor Mariam Seedat-Khan presented a paper in a plenary session during the Kandivli Education Society’s International virtual conference on the Stress and Mental Health Implications of COVID-19.

The conference, titled: Pandemic through a Gender Lens, attracted about 2000 delegates from around the world.

The Kandivli Education Society is a pioneer Education Trust registered under the Society’s Registration Act 1860 and Public Trust Act 1950 (Mumbai). It is well known for its various educational services over the past 80 years, spreading education to thousands of students.

Seedat-Khan’s COVID-19 research adopted an inter-disciplinary Bio-Psycho-Social-Model. ‘The importance of interdisciplinary research during these unprecedented times calls for innovation and collaboration to identify significant challenges experienced by women,’ she said

Her paper identified opportunities to design collaborative clinical models that respond to significant social problems that intersect at multiple levels. ‘Areas of collaboration include, clinical sociology, bio-medical models, social psychology and neuroscientific theories,’ said Seedat-Khan.

Her work, which underscored the concept of existential confidence during a global pandemic, identified the impact of unique mental health challenges that emerge, for women in particular, associated with COVID-19 safety protocols.

Key intersections in the global South take account of the digital divide, economic-insecurity, disability and implications of social distancing.

Her presentation ended with object lessons for the future which included prevention strategies, preparedness, scientific research and global North-South contestations focussed on education, accessibility to vaccines and public health care infrastructure.

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