“Corona Disrupted Access To Mental Health Services” – WHO


Of the many adverse impacts of COVID-19, the disruption the pandemic has caused to other medical services has been a great cause of worry and concern.

Now, in a strong validation of the aforementioned disruption, a survey carried out across 130 nations from June to August by the WHO found that around 93% countries reported disruption in their respective mental health services owing to the contagion.

Of this 93%, around 60% reported disruptions to mental health services for vulnerable people.

It further says that 72% countries experienced disruptions in their mental health services for the children and adolescents, besides adding that 70% underwent the same kind of disruption for the services concerning older adults.

Hindustan Times quoted Rajesh Sagar, a professor of psychiatry at New Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences as saying, “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.”

The survey also found that people having a mental condition are more vulnerable to COVID-19 induced severe conditions and even death.

It reportedly said, “People with pre-existing mental, neurological, or substance use disorders are also more vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 [that causes Covid-19] infection – they may stand a higher risk of severe outcomes and even death.”        

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