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The coronavirus pandemic's impact on global mental health is "already extremely concerning," UN says

May 14, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

There is a "high prevalence" of mental distress in countries across the globe due to the coronavirus pandemic, especially among health care workers and children, according to the United Nations and the World Health Organization.

(CNN)There is a "high prevalence" of mental distress in countries across the globe due to the coronavirus pandemic, especially among health care workers and children, according to the United Nations and the World Health Organization.

"The impact of the pandemic on people's mental health is already extremely concerning," WHO Director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a news release Thursday.

During the pandemic, 47% of health care workers in Canada have reported a need for psychological support; 50% of health care workers in the People's Republic of China reported depression; and 42% of health care workers in Pakistan reported moderate psychological distress and 26% severe psychological distress, a new UN policy brief released Thursday says.

Also, a study on young people with a history of mental health needs living in the United Kingdom found that 32% of them reported that the pandemic had made their mental health much worse.

Overall, the brief notes that national surveys conducted this year show that nearly half -- 45% -- of people in the United States have reported distress during the coronavirus pandemic.

"It is now crystal clear that mental health needs must be treated as a core element of our response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic," Tedros said.

The brief calls for emergency mental health services and psychosocial support to be made widely available.

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