WHO Warns Of “Long Term” Covid Impact On Mental Health.
The mental health impact of the pandemic will be “long-term and far-reaching,” the World Health Organization said Thursday, as experts and leaders called for action on Covid-related anxiety and stress.
“Everyone is affected in one way or another,” the WHO said in a statement at the beginning of a two-day meeting in Athens with health ministers from dozens of countries.
He said that “anxieties around the transmission of the virus, the psychological impact of the lockdowns and self-isolation” had contributed to a mental health crisis, along with stress related to unemployment, financial worries, and social alienation.
“The mental health impacts of the pandemic will be long-term and far-reaching,” the statement added.
WHO’s regional director for Europe, Hans Kluge said mental health should be considered a “fundamental human right”, emphasizing how the virus has destroyed lives.
“The pandemic has shaken the world,” he told the conference.
“More than four million lives lost worldwide, livelihoods ruined, families and communities forced apart, businesses failed and people deprived of opportunities.”
The WHO called for the strengthening of mental health services in general and the improvement of access to care through technology.
He also called for better psychological support services in schools, universities, workplaces, and for people on the front lines of the fight against Covid-19.
The ministers listened to a 38-year-old Greek woman named Katerina, who told them that she had been receiving treatment for a psychiatric disorder since 2002 and that she had been doing well until the pandemic hit.
She was no longer able to attend support groups in person and was unable to see her father, forcing her to push through her treatment.
“The pressure of social isolation led to increased anxiety,” he said.
(This story has not been edited by NewsGater staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)