While the world is becoming more aware, respectful and is finally paying attention to the importance of a sound mental health, reports from the World Health Organization can be startling for some.
As per WHO, cases of mental health disorders have shot up by more than 25% since the beginning of pandemic globally. Where as according to a recent study published in The Lancet, the virus has resulted in an increase of 27.6% cases of major depressive disorders with a 25.6% surge in the cases of anxiety across the globe.
As per the Lancet study patients infected with the virus are more likely to suffer from depression, the episodes of which can go as long as 16 months in some cases. Ingibjorg Magnusdottir, who was one of the researchers in the study said that the severity of the symptoms can directly be correlated with the time spent bedridden or hospitalised as such patients worried more about the long-term health effects as well as the persistence of Covid symptoms well beyond the illness that limit social contact and may result in a sense of helplessness.
On a very similar notion the WHO portrayed various stress factors as the reason for the global mental health taking a toll. The organization said that isolation along with limitations on people’s ability to work, seek support from loved ones, engage in their communities and of course financial insecurities are the main causative factors. As for the health workers, exhaustion has been a major stimulant for suicidal thinking.
The data available to the WHO also shows that worst affected are young people and women who are at a higher risk of suicidal and self-harming injuries. Along with that people with pre-existing physical health conditions, such as asthma, cancer and heart disease have a higher probability of showing symptoms related to mental health disorders.
To tackle on this grave situation, WHO has asked all the governments to focus on expanding their mental health facilities because as per Mental Health Atlas 2020, governments worldwide spent on average just over 2% of their health budgets on mental health and many low-income countries reported having fewer than 1 mental health worker per 100 000 people.
Now that the world is getting back to normal, mental wellbeing should also be focused upon, because as per Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General “The information we have now about the impact of COVID-19 on the world’s mental health is just the tip of the iceberg.” “Countries must act urgently to ensure that mental health support is available to all,” added Dévora Kestel, Director of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Use at WHO.