The WHO has published a report on mental health during the Coronavirus lockdowns. The report covers the extent of the mental health problem and gives some ways of mental health recovery. The global economy loses more than $1 trillion each year due to anxiety and poor mental health issues such as depression.
During the Covid19 pandemic so far there has been a lot of stress, not just from job losses but also from the virus itself. People are worried about getting it. The most vulnerable are at the highest risk of getting the virus such as the elderly.
In Australia we have been really lucky to have the parks and some of the beaches open during the pandemic. But we have also had our fair share of the mental health problems. The Government money that we receive has been very swift unlike Thailand who had to wait a while
The social distancing measures that each country has put in place has put an enormous strain on our mental health services. People are becoming more and more depressed and that would lead to suicide if not treated early.
Frontline workers such as those in hospitals face enormous stress. In Britain the stress was way before the pandemic.
Here the ways that WHO will tackle mental health in the weeks, months and years to come.
- Promote mental health more regularly. Governments should do more to include mental health in their COVID19 messaging.
- Ensure that all countries in the world have emergency support for mental health. This can be volunteer-run online to help those that are in disadvantaged communities (ie: third world countries). Also, people who are disabled or elderly or have chronic conditions should have their mental health needs met.
- Support COVID19 recovery by building mental health services for the future. Globally there is one mental health professional for every 10,000 people. Mental health should be included in health care benefit packages such as Medibank so that people of low incomes can afford them.
What the UN can do?
The UN will assist countries in research and development of mental health strategies as well as support and recovery. As countries emerge out of lockdown they will need all the help they can get.