United Nations and the World Health Organization released a report saying 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, said CNN.

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

According to a new UN policy brief, 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.

The same brief reported that in Italy and Spain, parents have reported that while in confinement during the pandemic, 77% of children have had difficulty concentrating; 39% have restlessness and irritability; 38% have nervousness; and 31% feelings of loneliness.

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, said the CNN report.

“Social isolation, fear of contagion, and loss of family members is compounded by the distress caused by loss of income and often employment,” Tedros said.

“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,” added Tedros.

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