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Pandemic impacting mental health, says WHO DG

Lack of social interaction causing anxiety

COVID-19 has impacted the mental health of millions of people, in terms of the anxiety and fear it has caused, and disruption to mental health services, Dr Tedros said and regretted that “Mental health is already a neglected health issue globally.”

GENEVA, Aug 28 (BNC Network): Stating that COVID-driven lockdowns distancing is leading to mental health issues, World Health Organisation (WHO) expressed the concern that the problem is neglected globally.

For many people, the lack of social interaction caused by the pandemic has had a profound affect on their mental health, said WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

COVID-19 has impacted the mental health of millions of people, in terms of the anxiety and fear it has caused, and disruption to mental health services, he said and regretted that “Mental health is already a neglected health issue globally.”

Mental health professionals have themselves been infected with the virus; and some mental health facilities have been closed to convert them into treatment facilities for people with COVID-19.

Close to one billion people are living with a mental disorder, three million people die every year from the harmful use of alcohol and one person dies every 40 seconds by suicide, Dr Tedors said.

“Yet relatively few people have access to quality mental health services. In low- and middle-income countries, more than 75% of people with mental, neurological and substance use disorders receive no treatment for their condition at all,” Dr Tedors said

Stigma, discrimination, punitive legislation and human rights abuses are still widespread, he pointed out.

For this year’s World Mental Health Day, WHO, together with our partner organizations, United for Global Mental Health and the World Federation for Mental Health, is calling for a massive scale-up in investments in mental health.

On World Mental Health Day, the 10th of October, WHO will for the first time host a global online advocacy event on mental health, he said.

“During this event—the Big Event for Mental Health—I will be joined by experts and household names from the worlds of music and sport to talk about what we can all do to improve our mental health – and you will hear their stories. Each and every individual has a story to tell about mental health,” he added.

 

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