The World Health Organization revealed, in a statement, that the Coronavirus pandemic has led to the disruption or suspension of critical mental health services in 93% of countries around the world, while the demand for mental health treatment is increasing, according to a new WHO survey, the survey provides Which included 130 countries, the first global data showing the devastating impact of the Corona virus COVID-19 On access to mental health services, and stresses the urgent need for increased funding.
Disrupting addiction therapies
The survey was published ahead of the World Health Organization’s major mental health event, a global online advocacy event on October 10 that will bring together world leaders and celebrities to call for increased mental health investments in the wake of the coronavirus, the organization said. COVID-19
The World Health Organization had previously highlighted the chronic shortage of mental health funding, before the pandemic, as countries used to spend less than 2% of their national health budgets on mental health and struggle to meet the needs of their populations..
Disrupting mental health services and providing treatments
She added that the epidemic is leading to an increase in the demand for mental health services, explaining that fear, isolation, and loss of income have led to the emergence of mental health conditions, or exacerbation of existing conditions, many people may face increased levels of alcohol, drug, insomnia, and anxiety. Meanwhile, the corona virus can also act COVID-19 Himself to neurological and mental complications, such as delirium, and stroke.
And the organization said, that people who suffer from mental or neurological disorders or pre-existing disorders, are also more likely to infection with Corona virus, they may be more at risk of severe consequences and even death, the survey revealed significant disturbances in critical mental health services.
The survey was conducted from June to August 2020 out of 130 countries, and assesses how the provision of mental and neurological services, and drug cessation services has changed due to the Coronavirus COVID-19What types of services have been disrupted, and how countries are adapting to overcome these challenges.
While many countries, “70%”, have adopted telemedicine, or teleotherapy to overcome interruptions in personal services, there are large variations in the absorption of these interventions. More than 80% of high-income countries have reported the deployment of medicine. Telemedicine and teleotherapy to fill gaps in mental health, compared to less than 50% of low-income countries.
The World Health Organization has issued guidelines for countries on how to maintain basic services, including mental health services, during the Corona pandemicCOVID-19 It recommends that countries allocate resources to mental health as an integral part of response and recovery plans, and WHO urges countries to monitor changes and disruptions in services so that they can address them as required..
She added that although 89% of countries reported in the survey that mental health and psychosocial support are part of national response plans to COVID-19, only 17% of these countries have full additional funding to cover these activities..
She pointed out that all this highlights the need for more funds for mental health, as the epidemic continues, the demand for national and international mental health programs that have suffered for years from chronic underfunding will increase. Spending 2% of national health budgets on mental health is not enough. International funders also need to do more, mental health still receives less than 1% of international aid earmarked for health.
Those who invest in mental health will reap the rewards, she said, revealing earlier estimates Corona Virus COVID-19Nearly $ 1 trillion in economic productivity is lost each year to depression and anxiety alone, however, studies show that every US dollar spent on evidence-based care for depression and anxiety is worth US $ 5.