COVID disrupting the mental health services in many countries worldwide: Survey by WHO

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COVID disrupting the mental health services in many countries worldwide: Survey by WHO

Access to Mental health Services decline due to Covid

Tuesday, 6th October 2020

The coronavirus pandemic led to a disruption of the services pertaining to the critical mental health in about 93% of the countries worldwide while there has been a remarkable increase in the demand for such services is as per a survey report from WHO released on this Monday. The survey was held between the months of June and August and was conducted across 130 countries of the world.


Nearly 35% of ailing patients reported marked disruptions to the emergency mental health related medical interventions, including the ones for patients of prolonged seizures, of delirium and of severe withdrawal syndromes related to substance abuse. Also, 30% of patients reported disruptions with regard to the access to proper medications for neurological, substance use and mental health disorders.


Apart from the emergency treatment facilities, countries across the globe also reported rampant disruption of several kinds of critical services pertaining to mental health.


Nearly about 60% of the people on whom the survey was conducted reported disruptions of mental health facilities and services for vulnerable patient groups, including kids and adolescents (72%), the older adults (70%), and also women needing antenatal or even postnatal services (61%).


Psychotherapy and Counseling services have suffered too in nearly 67% cases. About 65% people reported major harm to the reduction services and about 45% reported harm to the treatment of opioid agonist maintenance in cases of opioid dependence.


Even the mental health care services at workplaces and schools have been affected in a negative way, and as per the survey of WHO nearly three-quarters have reported some sort of disruption of services during the covid pandemic at these setups.


“Initial few weeks of the pandemic were worse when regular Out Patient Departments (OPDs) had to be shut, and people were finding it difficult to gain access to doctors, and even not able to procure medicines as freely as earlier. The problem was worse for people not living in the metros as transportation was also restricted. The elderly and children were much more affected. Gradually we opened online consultation services but not many were aware of it. So, yes, this pandemic has been tough on patients, including those suffering from mental illnesses. But things are now getting back to normalcy,” said the Rajesh Sagar, a professor of psychiatry at New Delhi’s AIIMS.


The survey offers us with the first ever global data reflecting the influence of the covid-19 pandemic on the access to the services pertaining to the mental health and also highlights the urgent requirement for boosted funding in the domain.



Source: Hindustan Times 

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