COVID-19 triggers 25% increase in anxiety, depression globally - WHO
COVID-19 triggers a 25% increase in anxiety, depression globally - WHO.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a 25% increase in anxiety and depression worldwide in the first year of the epidemic.
According to a new assessment from the UN health agency, the sharpest mental health deterioration occurred in areas hardest struck by COVID-19, where infections were widespread and social interaction was limited.
"The information we have now on COVID-19's impact on global mental health is merely the tip of the iceberg," WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus told journalists on Wednesday.
"The impacts of the pandemic reach far beyond the mortality and sickness caused by the virus itself," Ghebreyesus said, calling it a "wake-up call to all governments to pay more attention to mental health and do a better job of supporting their citizens' mental health."
The scientific brief released on Wednesday also emphasized who was most affected by the epidemic and summarized the impact of the pandemic on the availability of mental health services and how that evolved over the first year of the pandemic.
Despite the fact that worries about potential increases in mental health disorders motivated 90% of nations questioned to incorporate mental health and psychosocial assistance in their COVID-19 response plans, WHO warned there were still considerable gaps and concerns.
WHO attributed the rise to unprecedented stress created by social isolation, but also mentioned loneliness, suffering and deaths in the family, grief after bereavement, and financial concerns as important contributors fueling anxiety and depression.
According to the report, exhaustion was a major trigger for suicidal thoughts among health workers.
Indicating that females were more affected than males – and that younger people, especially those aged between 20 and 24, were more affected than older adults – the report also revealed that young people are disproportionally at risk of suicidal and self-harming behaviour.
People with pre-existing physical health concerns including asthma, cancer, or heart disease were also more likely to acquire indications of mental disorders, according to the study.
In his remarks on the report, Ghebreyesus said,
"This increase in the incidence of mental health disorders corresponded with severe interruptions to mental health services, and emphasized persistent underinvestment in mental health, leaving huge gaps in care for those who need it most."
While some services had been restored by the end of 2021, he added that too many people remained unable to receive the attention and support they required.
SOURCE: Vanguard News Nigeria