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Covid triggered 25% jump in anxiety, depression: WHO

0 2 years ago

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has taken a dire toll on mental health, the World Health Organization has said, indicating that cases of anxiety and depression had swelled by more than 25% worldwide.

In a fresh scientific brief, the WHO also found that the Covid-19 crisis had in many cases significantly impeded access to mental health services and raised concerns about increases in suicidal behaviour.

The brief, which was based on an umbrella review of a vast number of studies, determined that the world saw a 27.6% increase in cases of major depressive disorder in 2020 alone.

There was also a 25.6% hike in cases of anxiety disorders worldwide during the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In terms of scale, this is a very large increase,” said Brandon Gray of WHO’s mental health and substance use department, who coordinated the scientific brief.

Women and girls were more affected than males, and younger people, especially those between the ages of 20 and 24 were more affected than older adults.

– Suicidal behaviours –

Data on suicides was meanwhile mixed, and did not clearly show a change in global rates since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Data from some nations showed rising rates, but others showed that rates had decreased or remained the same.

But Gray pointed out that there is often a delay in collecting and analysing such statistics.


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