WHO Warns of Covid-induced Anxiety, Depression Worldwide



Geneva: The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Wednesday that there has been a sharp rise in anxiety and depression over the Covid-19 epidemic, largely due to social isolation. Young people and women are most affected. In the first year of the epidemic, the global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by a whopping 25 percent, according to a scientific summary released by the WHO. Xinhua News Agency reports that ninety percent of the countries surveyed included mental health and psychosocial support in their Covid-19 response plans, but major gaps and concerns remain.Also read – Maharashtra issues Covid guidelines for inter-state, inter-state travel

The WHO said the epidemic has caused unprecedented stress due to social isolation. This hinders people’s ability to work, get support from loved ones and get involved in their communities. Fatigue is a major cause of suicidal ideation in health workers. Also read – Maharashtra eases Kovid sanctions; Cinemas will be operating at 100 per cent capacity in 14 districts

“The only information we have now about the impact of the Covid-19 on mental health in the world is just the tip of the iceberg,” said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanam Ghebreyes. Also read – Yuvraj Singh’s gestures win hearts during cancer time for cancer patients

“There is an appeal to all these countries to wake up and do a better job of paying more attention to mental health and supporting the mental health of their populations.”

The WHO briefly stated that young people whose mental health is affected by Covid-19 are disproportionately at risk of suicidal and self-destructive behavior.

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Women are more severely affected than men, and people with pre-existing physical health conditions such as asthma, cancer or heart disease are more likely to develop symptoms of mental disorders when infected with Covid-19. The epidemic has severely disrupted mental health services worldwide, leaving huge gaps in the care of those most in need.

Although the situation has improved slightly by the end of 2021, many people today are unable to get the care and support they need for pre-existing and newly developed mental health conditions.

According to a recent WHO survey, 90 percent of countries are working to provide mental health and psychosocial support to COVID-19 patients and respondents, but the global shortage of mental health resources continues today.

The WHO’s most recent “Mental Health Atlas” shows that by 2020, governments around the world have spent an average of more than two percent of their health budgets on mental health, and many low-income countries have had less than one mental health worker per 100,000 people.

Covid-19 has “declared a historic low investment in mental health services. Countries must take urgent action to ensure that mental health care is available to all,” said Devora Castell, director of mental health and substance use at the WHO.

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