UN chief warns psychological suffering from coronavirus growing

UN chief warns psychological suffering from coronavirus growing

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged governments, civil society and health authorities to urgently address mental health needs arising from the coronavirus pandemic, warning that psychological suffering is increasing.

The U.N. chief said in a video message launching a policy briefing that "after decades of neglect and under-investment in mental health services, the COVID-19 pandemic is now hitting families and communities with additional mental stress."

He pointed to "grief at the loss of loved ones, shock at the loss of jobs, isolation and restrictions on movement, difficult family dynamics, and uncertainty and fear for the future."

Guterres said those most at risk and in need of help are front-line health care workers, older people, adolescents, young people, those with preexisting mental health conditions, and those caught up in conflict and crisis.

"Mental health services are an essential part of all government responses to COVID-19. They must be expanded and fully funded," The AP cited the UN chief as saying.

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