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Covid-19 pandemic disrupts mental health services – WHO

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Covid-19 pandemic disrupts mental health services – WHO

6th October 2020

By: African News Agency

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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.

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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.

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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.

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