Pandemic has worsened the mental health of half the population, says Red Cross

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More than half of the people – 51% – consulted in a survey by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) indicated that the Covid-19 pandemic had a negative impact on their mental health, the organization said on Thursday.

The study, prepared before the celebration, next Saturday, of World Mental Health Day, points out that the outbreak of the new coronavirus “worsened existing mental illnesses, generated new illnesses and further limited access to mental health services”.

In response to this situation, “urgent and greater funding for mental health and psychosocial support in humanitarian responses is needed,” the organization said in a statement.

The study, carried out in seven countries (Colombia, Lebanon, Philippines, South Africa, Switzerland, Ukraine and the United Kingdom) also indicates that three out of four people consider it necessary to give special support to mental health to the frontline workers of the pandemic , such as health professionals.

“They are often exposed directly to the virus, work long hours and inevitably witness traumatic events”, and yet “are stigmatized for providing support to disaster-affected communities,” said the ICRC.

“Today, more than ever, we must invest in mental health and psychosocial support, both for communities and those responsible for their care, to help them face their situation, rebuild their lives and overcome this crisis,” said the secretary-general. ICRC general, Jagan Chapagain.

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