Global health authority the World Health Organisation (WHO) says that the Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted or halted critical mental health services in 93 percent of countries worldwide while the demand for mental health is increasing.
The health authority confirmed this on Monday.
According to a new WHO survey, 130 countries provide the first global data showing the devastating impact of Covid-19 on access to mental health services and underscores the urgent need for increased funding.
WHO says that prior to the pandemic, countries were spending less than 2 percent of their national health budgets on mental health, and struggling to meet their populations’ needs.
The health authority has highlighted a number of triggers mental conditions including bereavement, loss of income as well as an overwhelming sense of fear related to the Covid-19 virus.
According to WHO, many people may be facing increased levels of alcohol and drug use, insomnia, and anxiety. Meanwhile, Covid-19 itself can lead to neurological and mental complications, such as delirium, agitation, and stroke, the organisation said.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation said that good mental health is absolutely fundamental to overall health and well-being.
Ghebreyesus further said that Covid-19 has interrupted essential mental health services around the world just when they’re needed most, and reiterated that world leaders must move fast and decisively to invest more in life-saving mental health programmes, during the pandemic and beyond.