COVID-19 has disrupted critical mental health services in 93 pc countries: WHO
New Delhi/UNI: COVID-19 has disrupted or halted critical mental health services in 93 per cent of countries worldwide while the demand for mental health is increasing, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
In a survey of 130 countries to coincide with the World Mental Health Day on Saturday, WHO provides the first global data showing the devastating impact of COVID-19 on access to mental health services and underscores the urgent need for increased funding.
The survey was published ahead of WHO’s ‘Big Event for Mental Health’ a global online advocacy event on October 10 that will bring together world leaders, celebrities, and advocates to call for increased mental health investments in the wake of COVID-19.
WHO had previously highlighted the under-funding of mental health. Prior to the pandemic, countries were spending less than 2 per cent of their national health budgets on mental health and struggling to meet their populations’ needs.
The survey said the pandemic is increasing demand for mental health services.
Bereavement, isolation, loss of income and fear are triggering mental health conditions or exacerbating existing ones. Many people may be facing increased levels of alcohol and drug use, insomnia, and anxiety,’’ it said.
According to the survey COVID-19 itself can lead to neurological and mental complications, such as delirium, agitation, and stroke.
WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said COVID-19 had interrupted essential mental health services around the world just when they were needed most. World leaders must move fast and decisively to invest more in life-saving mental health programmes.