The World Health Organization (WHO) has released a scientific brief indicating a 25 per cent rise in anxiety and depression globally in the first year of Covid-19.
The detailed report released on March 2nd points out women and young people as most affected.
Individuals with pre-existing physical conditions such as asthma, cancer and heart disease were found to be more at risk of mental disorders symptoms.
While the group with pre-existing mental disorders did not appear to be disproportionately vulnerable to the virus, severe illness, hospitalization and death were a more likely outcome in case of infection according to the report.
A wakeup call
WHO further noted in that 90 per cent of countries who according to survey were concerned about potential increase in mental health, had included mental health and psychosocial support in their Covid-19 response plans.
“The information we have now about the impact of Covid-19 on the world’s mental health is just the tip of the iceberg,” said WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom.
Adhanom further added that it is a wakeup call to all countries to pay more attention to mental health and do a better job of supporting their populations’ mental health.
Impact of isolation
The social isolation of the masses resulting from the pandemic was found to be one of the major explanations of the rise in stress levels.
The isolations which put a halt to people’s ability to work, seek support from loved ones and engage in their communities was also linked to the rise in mental health.
According to the report, other stressors leading to anxiety and depression included loneliness, fear of infection, suffering and death for oneself and loved ones as well as financial worries.
“WHO member states have recognized the impact of Covid-19 on mental health and are taking action,” read part of the report.