COVID-19 Pandemic May Lead To Global Mental Health Crisis, Warns UN

According to UN officials, mental health services are an essential part of all government responses to COVID-19 and they must be expanded and fully funded.

India   |   16 May 2020 6:30 AM GMT / Updated : 2020-07-03T17:18:02+05:30
Writer : Sumanti Sen | Editor : Shweta Kothari | Creatives : Nandan M | Writer : Pallavi Mehra
COVID-19 Pandemic May Lead To Global Mental Health Crisis, Warns UN

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, people worldwide experience death, isolation, poverty, leading to anxiety and depression.

"The isolation, the fear, the uncertainty, the economic turmoil-they all-cause or could cause psychological distress," Hindustan Times quoted Devora Kestel, Director of the World Health Organization's mental health department, as saying.

She added that an upsurge in the number and severity of mental illness is likely, and the government should put the issue "front and centre" of their response.

UN-Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, however, urged the international community to urgently come together to address the mental health dimension of the pandemic.

While launching the UN policy brief on COVID-19 and the Need for Action on Mental Health, the UN chief said, "the frontline healthcare workers, older people, adolescents, and young people, with pre-existing mental health conditions are at the most risk of mental stress." He further highlighted that even when the pandemic is under control, grief, anxiety, and depression will continue to affect people and communities.

According to UN officials, mental health services are an essential part of all government responses to COVID-19 and they must be expanded and fully funded. He called for policies that support and care for those affected by mental health conditions, and protect their human rights and dignity.

Psychologists reported that children are becoming anxious and the cases of depression have increased manifold in several countries. Meanwhile, domestic violence has also increased. Healthcare workers are constantly asking for an increasing need for psychological support.

Doctors and nurses dealing with the COVID-19 patients have experienced a combination of panic, anxiety, grief, numbness, irritability, insomnia, and nightmares. Meanwhile, WHO reported that apart from the health sector, many people are distressed by immediate health impacts and the consequences of physical isolation, while many others are afraid of infection, dying, and losing family members.

Millions of people are experiencing economic turmoil, having lost, or being at risk of losing their income and livelihoods. Rumours and misinformation are making people more anxious about their future.

Also Read:Helplessness, Boredom, Depression: Here's How You Can Deal With Mental Health Issues During Quarantine Helplessness, Boredom, Depression: Here's How You Can Deal With Mental Health Issues During Quarantine

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Sumanti Sen

Sumanti Sen

Digital Journalist

Sumanti Sen is an English Literature graduate who believes "there's just one kind of folks. Folks.".

Shweta Kothari

Shweta Kothari

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A broadcast turned digital journalist, Shweta Kothari heads the newsroom at The Logical Indian. She has previously worked with CNBC and NewsX as a news anchor and senior correspondent. Shweta holds a masters degree in journalism from the university of Sussex, UK and started her career with work placement with BBC in Scotland.

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Nandan M

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