UN Warns of Global Mental Health Crisis Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

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  • 14 May 2020
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UN Warns of Global Mental Health Crisis Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

A mental illness crisis is looming as millions of people worldwide are forced into isolation, poverty and anxiety by the pandemic of COVID-19, United Nations (UN) health experts have said. Presenting a UN report and policy guidance on COVID-19 and mental health, Devora Kestel, director of the World Health Organization's (WHO) mental health department, said an upsurge in the number and severity of mental illnesses is likely, and governments should put the issue “front and centre” of their responses. “The isolation, the fear, the uncertainty, the economic turmoil – they all cause or could cause psychological distress,” said Kestel. The report highlighted several regions and sections of societies as vulnerable to mental distress – including children and young people isolated from friends and school, healthcare workers who are seeing thousands of patients infected with and dying from the new coronavirus.

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