The Covid pandemic has taken a heavy toll on mental health, the WHO said on Wednesday, indicating that cases of anxiety and depression have increased by more than 25 percent globally. In a short study of the latest science, the World Health Organization also found that the Covid-19 crisis in many cases impeded access to mental health services and raised concerns about improvements in suicidal behavior. The brief, based on an umbrella review of a large number of studies, concludes that the world saw an increase of 27.6-percent in cases of severe depression in 2020 alone. During the first year of the pandemic, there was still a 25.6-percent drop in cases of global anxiety disorders, he found. “In terms of size, this is a huge increase,” said Brandon Gray of the WHO mental health and substance use department, who compiled the brief.
The brief, he told AFP, “shows that Covid-19 has a significant impact on mental health and human health.”
Significant improvements were seen in areas most affected by Covid-19, in terms of higher daily impact rates and reduced mobility due to restrictions, the study found.
Women and girls are just more likely than men, and teens, especially those between the ages of 20 and 24 are more affected than older adults.
Data on suicides were mixed initially, and did not show a clear change in global rates since the onset of the pandemic.
Data from some countries shows rates rising, but others show that rates have decreased or stayed the same.
But Gray points out that there is often a delay in receiving and analyzing such statistics.
“I do not think these results should be taken to show that suicidal behaviors are not a concern,” he said.
The study while highlighting the high risk of suicidal behaviors, including suicide attempts and suicide, among young people from the beginning of the crisis.
Depression among health professionals, depression and positive Covid-19 trials are shown during this period to increase the risk of suicidal ideation, he found.
The study also showed that people living with cerebral palsy have an increased risk of serious illness and death from Covid.
Gray said more research is needed to understand the link.
One reason, he suggested, may be that people living with cerebral palsy can lead a healthier and more active life, with higher rates of smoking, substance abuse and obesity than ever before. .
Thursday’s study also shows that patient mental health services will be significantly disrupted by 2020 due to the pandemic, reducing access to critical care.
These disruptions are mitigated in many cases by modified services to the online health system.
While this is good news, the study points out that the change appears to have worsened barriers to better care for people with limited access to the internet or low levels of technical literacy.
Problems in responding to mental health challenges within the pandemic were the result of a lot of “lack of gay investment” in such activities before hitting Covid-19, Gray said.
“Decades of indifference now manifesting a lack of readiness to address the scale of the problem,” he said.
Read all the Latest News, Breaking News and Live Election Updates here.