“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”

― Rumi

According to a study published in the journal ‘The Lancet Psychiatry’, 1 in 5 patients who survive COVID-19 develop some form of mental disorder within 90 days. The most common disorders diagnosed among covid-19 survivors are anxiety, depression, or insomnia; but the researchers, led by Oxford University psychiatry professor Paul Harrison, have also detected significantly high levels of dementia and brain damage.

Jude Mary Cénat, professor of clinical psychology at the University of Ottawa and leader of the group of experts, also carried out a research on COVID-19 that was published in the scientific journal ‘Psychiatry Research’.  In that research, experts found the prevalence of symptoms of insomnia was present in 24% of the affected population, that post-traumatic stress disorder reached 22%, depression stood at 16%, and anxiety reached 15%. The article underlines that depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder were three, four, and five times, respectively, more frequent compared to what is usually reported by the World Health Organization (WHO).

And this reality that affects many people, has obviously also reached organizations. More and more leaders are experiencing it firsthand or through the people in their teams. And the biggest problem is not that this happens.  The problem comes when it’s presented as a taboo, something that cannot be said, and therefore it cannot be used to build more effective teams. Gaps or even nosedives can be an excellent starting point for strengthening the psychological environment of the organization and work teams. As Dr Paul Keedwell, an expert on mood disorders at the Institute of Psychiatry in London, states in his book How Sadness Survived: “depression is multifaceted: it can lead to great insights and achievements, as well as great tragedies”.

What can we do to help our teams work through these symptoms and resolve them?

Here is a powerful question and some ideas to take action on.

Powerful question to ask yourself:

What symptoms am I feeling that I can openly share with my team and lead by example?

Make change happen:

Try this!

If most of your teams are currently working remotely, resume the “hallway conversations”.

  • Create a weekly session where everyone simply shares how they’re feeling. Share:
  • Your stress level: we all have stress. The important thing to know is whether you are having eustress (positive stress) or distress (negative stress).
  • Physical symptoms that may be related to anxiety: I’m not hungry or I’m very hungry, sweaty palms, choking sensation…
  • Experiences in the past related to mental problems. Cases of people close to you in a positive tone.

Whenever you have the chance, ask:

  • How are you feeling?
  • How are things at home?
  • Do you need any help with…?


  • Behavioral changes: for example, an introverted person who becomes extroverted very abruptly.
  • Physical changes: weight loss/gain, lack of sleep, aches, and pains…
  • And before you leave the meeting
    • Can someone summarize their understanding?
    • Who needs to do what and by when?


I invite you to subscribe to my newsletter, so you can successfully lead transformation processes: inspiration to engage, a question to reflect on, and an action to try. Make change happen!

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