Coronavirus may leave a permanent scar on global mental health: UN

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: May 14, 2020, 09:35 AM(IST)

Coronavirus in Europe Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Domestic violence and gender discrimination have seen a drastic rise. Health workers have reported an increase in psychological support.

United Nations health experts have said that coronavirus chaos will leave a bizarre effect on global mental health. Death and spread of the virus have forced everyone into isolation. Poverty and anxiety have surged due to the pandemic. All of these have led to chaotic mental health across the globe. 

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Devora Kestel, director of the World Health Organization's (WHO) mental health department has said: "The isolation, the fear, the uncertainty, the economic turmoil - they all cause or could cause psychological distress." 

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While presenting the UN report and guideline on mental health and coronavirus, Kestel said that the world will witness a spike in cases and severity of mental illness around the world. She also said that the governments should take this seriously and put the issue "front and centre" pf their COVID responses. 

At a briefing, she told the reporters: "The mental health and wellbeing of whole societies have been severely impacted by this crisis and are a priority to be addressed urgently."

Coronavirus' impact on mental health can already be seen after several cases of children in anxiety and an increase in cases of depression and anxiety have been recorded. 

Domestic violence and gender discrimination have seen a drastic rise. Health workers have reported an increase in psychological support.

Reuters last week reported from interviews with doctors and nurses in the United States who said either they or their colleagues had experienced a combination of panic, anxiety, grief, numbness, irritability, insomnia and nightmares.

Economic problems, losing or at the risk of losing livelihood and income, and misinformation and rumours during the pandemic have made people anxious about their future. 

People have distressed due to instant health impacts, isolation or even by the fear of dying or being infected. 

It outlined action points for policy-makers to aim "to reduce immense suffering among hundreds of millions of people and mitigate long-term social and economic costs to society".

(With Inputs from Reuters)

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