Virtual Conference
Mental Health 2023

Ericka Matus

Universidad Especializada de las Américas (UDELAS), Republic of Panama

Title: Panama: scope and psychosocial challenges two years after the Covid-19 pandemic


On March 9, the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Panama was announced. With it, the "Plan Protect yourself Panama" was implemented to deal with the situation, based on the preparations made during the previous months and the experiences from different countries. 

On March 9, 2020 as of March 9, 2022, 757,568 cumulative cases of covid-19 and 8,118 deaths were reported.

This research presents the scope of social psychology applied to the pandemic in Panama.

Social Psychology is a reference framework that allows explaining through attitudes, social perception, stereotypes, living space, group management, active minorities, the role they play, their locus of control, and behaviors of survivors of the COVID-19 crisis. Alterations in people and their interpersonal relationships were manifested in some psychological disorders identified from this perspective. Some of the results obtained can be included in the following areas: 
? The Psychosocial Processes associated with the COVID-19 Pandemic in Panama were diagnosed. 
? The capacities of mental health specialists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and educational psychologists were strengthened when working on the COVID-19 crisis through intervention, training, and monitoring of psychosocial processes. 
? The human development of the populations that mental health specialists could serve was enhanced. 
? The authorities supervised domestic violence due to the confinement and isolation as a sanitary fence by COVID-19 was promoted. 
? Micro virtual courses for crisis intervention were developed. 
? A directory of mental health professionals trained and trained to care for the psychosocial processes of the adult population in Panama in a situation of confinement due to COVID-19 was prepared. 


Ericka Matus studied her PHD at the Specialized University of the Americas in Panama, has a master's degree in Higher Teaching, from the Latin University of Panama, in addition to a master's degree in Research and teaching in Psychology, at the Ibero-American University, the Specialty in Statistics Applied at the National Autonomous University of Mexico and the bachelor?s degree in Social Psychology, the last three in Mexico City. She has worked as coordinator of the degree in Psychology, Dean of the Faculty of Education Sciences and Human 
Development at the Latin University of Panama and has been Academic Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Caribbean in Panama. He currently belongs to the National System of Researchers (SNI) of Panama, is a founding member of the Latin American Association for the Training and Teaching of Psychology (ALFEPSI), a member of the Ibero-American Society of Psychology (SIP) and of the American Association of Psychology (APA). He is a member of the editorial committee of the Cuban Journal of Alternatives in Psychology.
It has publications in social, educational and sports psychology.