COVID-19 disrupted the Mental Health of most countries: WHO Survey

COVID-19 disrupted the Mental Health of most countries: WHO Survey

World Health Organisation (WHO) has surveyed the disruption on Mental health Services, which revealed that the Coronavirus pandemic severely impacted mental health services in 93 percent of countries worldwide.

It demands an urgent need for increased funding. The survey, conducted on Monday by WHO, was conducted in 130 countries between June and August.

On World Mental Health Day, 10 October, the World Health Organization will, for the first time, host a global online advocacy event on mental health. At this event—the Big Event for Mental Health—world leaders, mental health experts, and celebrity guests will join WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

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The main motive is to tell the world what we can all do to improve our mental health and how we can help make sure that quality mental health care is available to everyone who needs it.

Before this survey, the International public agency has already indicated a constant lack of funding for mental health. As before COVID-19, countries were contributing 2 percent of the National Health Budget for Mental Health and attempting to fulfill the needs of the population.

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As per the survey reports of WHO, about 35 percent of countries reported disruption for emergency interventions. At the same time, 30 percent of the countries had difficulty accessing medicines for mental and neurological disorders. Along with this, many countries faced severe disruption in mental health services.

For those experiencing prolonged seizures, severe substance use withdrawal syndrome, and delirium, often indicate a serious underlying medical condition.

And 30% reported disruption in access to medications for mental, neurological, and substance use disorders.

Mental Health Services of schools and workplaces are also affected. With this, at least 60 percent of the countries surveyed a disruption in mental health services for feeble or vulnerable people.

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According to the report, children and adolescents (72 percent), adults (70 percent), and women in need of antenatal or postnatal services (61 percent) were also affected.

Even 67 percent of cases of Counseling and psychotherapy services were also affected. According to the WHO survey, at least three-quarters of such places have been reported to have partial disruptions during the epidemic.

In this concern, The Director-General of the World Health Organisation, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “Good mental health is fundamental to overall health and well-being, COVID-19 has disrupted essential mental health services across the world just when they’re needed most. World leaders must move fast and decisively to invest more in life-saving mental health programs during the pandemic and beyond.”

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On Monday, at a meeting of the 34-member Executive Board on COVID-19, The head of emergency services at the WHO, Dr. Michel Ryan said that one in ten people worldwide could be infected with the coronavirus. 

Dr. Ryan said that the number may change in urban and rural areas, but ultimately it means that large population of the world is in danger. Experts have already said that more people are suffering from infections than the reported number.

To cope with the Coronavirus pandemic, WHO has recommended the guidelines for utilizing vital services for Mental Health, and commends that countries to put forward resources to mental health as an important part of their response and recovery plan.

WHO also urges the countries to keep a note of the changes and disruptions in mental health services so that they can be improved as required.

In the survey, It is also indicated that 89% of countries have reported that mental health and psychosocial support are part of their national Covid-19 response plans, only 17 percent of these countries have full additional funding for covering these activities.

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