Today marks World Mental Health Day, and it has been over 18 months since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic has had a major impact on people’s mental health. Health care workers, frontline workers, students, people who live alone and those with pre-existing mental health issues have been particularly affected.
In some countries, life returns to a certain aspect of normality; In other cases, transmission and hospitalization rates remain high, creating feelings of sadness and depression and disrupting the lives of entire families and communities.
Because of the pandemic, a survey by the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that care services for mental, neurological and substance use disorders have been halted or significantly affected.
Expanding high-quality mental health services at all levels Recognized during the World Health Assembly in May 2021 Governments around the world have recognized this need and endorsed the World Health Organization’s 2013-2020 Comprehensive Plan of Action on Mental Health, including indicators to measure progress.
Talking about the steps they are already taking and intending to take in support of this goal is an opportunity, on this Mental Health Day, for government leaders, civil society organizations, and many other stakeholders to be accountable and take action. In this matter vital to man. Mental health, and its aftermath, constitute another epidemic that is much more silent but equally horrific.
In the case of the Americas region, the COVID-19 pandemic, mental and neurological disorders, substance use disorders (NMS), and suicide account for more than a third (34%) of all years living with a disability., being depressive disorders the main cause. Approximately 100,000 people die by suicide each year.
Working to make mental health care a reality for all is essential. World Mental Health Day 2021 will give voice to diverse perspectives on this evil, during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the goal of drawing attention to mental health inequalities in the Americas and uniting to eradicate them.
Now more than ever, as the COVID-19 pandemic highlights and deepens the damage it causes, it is our duty to address rigorously the health of the mind, which means better health of the body. Let’s do this challenge for everyone.
Sources: (Infomed, Radio Ciudad de La Habana)
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