The Secretary-General of the United Nations has released a new policy brief, COVID-19 and the Need for Action on Mental Health, to address the grief, anxiety and depression spreading across the globe as part of the COVID-19 pandemic. Though the virus has placed unprecedented stress on frontline workers, families and societies at large, funding for mental health support is still limited.
Even so, hundreds of global leaders are hoping to change that.
Emerging studies are showing the impact of COVID-19 on the world’s mental health: symptoms of depression and anxiety, for example, are being recorded in a number of countries, with those already experiencing mental health issues finding that the pandemic has made it harder for them to access medication and treatment.
In the new policy brief, António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, pushes for governments, civil society, health authorities and other partners to prioritise the mental health dimensions of COVID-19, and announce commitments to tackling those challenges in the months to come.
As part of this effort, 650 experts, scientists, business leaders and practitioners are calling on world leaders to protect mental health support through an open letter. This letter, which is attracting more signatures every day, also urges world leaders to build back a stronger, better mental health system for the future.