CZELO renewed the Science Café tradition with a debate on mental health


Discussion with Tomáš Rektor on mental health in the aftermath of COVID-19 attracted over 65 participants.

On 22 September 2021, the Czech Liaison Office for Education and Research (CZELO) together with the Representation of the South Moravian Region in Brussels, the Czech Center in Brussels and the Delegation of Prague to the EU organized another Science Café. The invitation was accepted by the leading Czech psychiatrist and psychotherapist Tomáš Rektor, founder and head of Terapie.Info, s.r.o. The event, which took place physically after a long time, attracted over 65 participants.

Science Café is a forum for discussion of current work and interesting scientific issues. It aims to be informal and accessible. Anyone can participate; speaker is there to be questioned and to talk about his work.

Pandemics and the new normal

The topic of the October debate was mental health in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the negative effects on physical health, it also affected our mental state. We were forced into isolation, which led to more and more people experiencing various mental issues, such as feelings of helplessness, sadness, anxiety and depression. Now with restrictions finally lifting, we are entering a ‘new’ normal. For many this means returning to the office and this can bring increased anxiety from worrying about catching the virus or relearning how to live our pre-COVID lives. How to adjust to the new normal and what will be the main challenges? 

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In addition to tips on how to adapt to the new normal, the discussion focused on what was the impact of lockdown on our mental health and how the pandemic changed the perception of death. According to Tomáš Rektor, the third wave of lockdown was the most difficult for our mental health also due to bad weather. The audience was also interested in the different impacts of the pandemic on individual generations, the negative effects on children in connection with the transition to home schooling, new routines and work habits that the pandemic brought or the impact of computer games on the psyche of individuals.

Who is Tomáš Rektor 

Tomáš Rektor graduated from the Faculty of Medicine and is trained in deep psychotherapy. He worked at the Psychiatric Clinic of the University Hospital Brno (2000–2002), as well as at the Jihlava Psychiatric Hospital (2002–2003) and the Student Health Institute in Prague (2004–2005). In the years 2004–2010 he collaborated with civil society organisation Sanani. He worked as a doctor in substitution programs for opiate addicts,and commuted to the therapeutic communities of Karlov and Němčice. In 2006–2010, he worked with the Administration of Refugee Facilities of the Ministry of the Interior, and as a psychiatrist he travelled to several refugee camps and similar facilities. He has had a private practice since 2005, leading a small team of psychiatrists and psychologists.

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