Mental health access drastically slows worldwide

A survey by the World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that 93 % of the countries worldwide have faced a disruption in critical mental health services due to Covid-19.

The study has also found that the demand for the services has increased due to among others bereavement, isolation, loss of income as a result of the pandemic.

The survey was conducted between June to August 2020 among 130 countries across WHO’s six regions.

The survey has provided the first data on the global impact of Covid-19 on access to mental health services.

It also exposes the underfunding gap that exists in the mental health sector and calls for the urgent need of increased funds to the sector.

Prior to the pandemic WHO had highlighted the chronic underfunding of mental health which is allocated less than 2 % of the national budget in most countries making it difficult for the populations to access the service.

Director General of the World Health Organization Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “Good mental health is absolutely fundamental to overall health and well-being, Covid-19 has interrupted essential mental health services around the world just when they’re needed most. World leaders must move fast and decisively to invest more in life-saving mental health programmes  ̶ during the pandemic and beyond.”

The survey was published ahead of WHO’s Big Event for Mental Health  ̶  a global online advocacy event on 10 October that will bring together world leaders, celebrities, and advocates to call for increased mental health investments in the wake of COVID-19.

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