COVID-19 Disrupting Mental Health Services in a Majority of Countries

October 6, 2020 by Christen Aldrich

Filed under COVID-19 for Employers, COVID-19 for the Workforce, Health and Wellness

Last modified October 7, 2020

According to this new WHO report, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted mental health services in 93% of countries worldwide, while the demand for mental health is increasing. The survey performed by the WHO of 130 countries provides the first global data showing the devastating impact of COVID-19 on access to mental health services and highlights the urgent need for increased funding. A few other notable highlights from the report include:

  • Telemedicine: While more than 80% of high-income countries report deploying telemedicine to help people access mental health services, fewer than half of low-income nations have done so. 
  • Vulnerable populations: Majorities of countries report service interruptions for vulnerable populations, including 61% that said so about services for pre- and postnatal women and 70% that reported disruption in mental care for older people. 
  • Types of service: Two-thirds of countries saw disruptions to counseling and psychotherapy services, while 30% reported interruptions to medications for mental, neurological, and substance use disorders. 
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