Over 4 in 10 Brazilians had anxiety issues, depression symptoms increased fivefold in Peru, and proportion of Canadians reporting high levels of stress quadrupled as a result of the pandemic, the text stated.
Entitled Strengthening Mental Health Responses to Covid-19 in the Americas: An Analysis of Health Policy and Recommendations, it assessed studies and data from countries in the region in an effort to better understand current context.
The message is clear: we have operated in crisis mode since the beginning of the coronavirus, said Dr. Anselm Hennis, PAHO Director of Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health.
Aside from managing the fear of becoming ill and trauma of losing loved ones as a result of Covid-19, the people of the Americas suffered unemployment, poverty and food insecurity, and the adverse impact on mental health has been widespread.
The article, published in The Lancet Regional Health – Americas, indicated a marked increase in incidents of domestic violence, already high and three times over the world average.
Participants also analyzed the consequences for the mental health of people infected long ago and confirmed that a third of them had a neurological or mental disorder.
We hope the increased burden of mental health could be one of the most important long-term effects of Covid-19, Amy Tausch, PAHO’s senior researcher, stressed.
At the time of greatest need in care and treatment, the document warned of continued disruptions to essential services for mental, neurological, and substance use disorders in more than half of the states in the Americas.