WHO study confirms influence of COVID-19 pandemic on mental health
The demand for the services of psychiatrists and therapists has increased during the coronavirus pandemic, World Health Organization (WHO) representative to the Russian Federation Melita Vujnovic said.
"A WHO study of influence of COVID-19 on neurological and mental health demonstrated that 93% of the 130 countries participating in it reported disruptions in the provision of one or more services of treating mental, neurological [disorders] and substance use disorders while the demand for mental health services has gone up," TASS cited her as saying.
According to the representative, the recovery from the pandemic is impossible without urgent attention given to enhancing mental health, the process that should cover the entire community. "The timely and high-quality provision of a full-range of comprehensive and integrated services in the sphere of mental health and psychological support is an essential component in achieving global coverage of healthcare services, including promoting mental health literacy and awareness both among the public and medical staff, and elimination of any stigmatization. Prevention, early detection, treatment, rehabilitation and subsequent care with respect to human rights and dignity should also be included here," she continued.
The WHO official emphasized the importance of directing additional efforts in order to cover people in risk groups and those in a vulnerable situation. "The use of innovative technologies is very promising in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and its long-term consequences, including remote mental health services, ensuring fair access to telemedicine and other economically effective technologies when possible. In general, over many years and on a global scale, the mental health sphere was short on financing. In addition, the allocation of adequate funds is necessary in order to enhance it and to expand access for everyone who needs it, especially in light of the readiness for any potentially new emergency situations," she concluded.