Pandemic Impact on Mental Health
Since the World Health Organization issued the pandemic alert, more than one million people have died worldwide from the SARS-Cov2 virus. The disease has also infected more than 44 million people, with the USA, India, Brazil and Russia having the highest infection rates, which is evident from the fact that they are among the most populated nations in the world.
But beyond the visible consequences that this virus is leaving on our health, there is another type of invisible sequelae about which experts around the world have already warned: mental health. In fact, the WHO already warned about the scope of this problem on the occasion of World Mental Health Day, celebrated last October 10. The effects of confinement added to the implications of behavior in this "new normal" characterized by social and physical distance, increased unemployment and economic difficulties or mourning, among others, is causing the emergence of cases of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, anxiety or insomnia. On the other hand, the same virus can bring about neurological and mental complications, such as delirious states, agitation or strokes.
But the pandemic is not only having its impact on the mental health of "healthy" people, but also "has disrupted or paralyzed essential mental health services in 93% of the world's countries", according to a WHO study conducted in 130 countries, and calls on all nations to increase funding and resources for mental health.
In fact, before the pandemic, countries spent less than 2% of their national health budgets on mental health and had difficulty responding to the needs of their populations, the organization says. While 89 percent of countries reported in the survey that mental health and psychosocial support were part of their national Covid-19 response plans, only 17 percent of those countries have sufficient additional funding to cover these activities.
In addition to WHO, other expert voices such as the UK's Academy of Medical Sciences have warned of the psychological, social and neuroscientific effects of the pandemic in the short, medium and long term. This entity, as well as the WHO, urges to increase the funding for the mental health programs of the different countries to anticipate what is already qualified as the second great pandemic of the 21st century.Back to News