UN Chief Warns Psychological Suffering From Virus Is Growing

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In this photo taken on Saturday, May 9, 2020, Martine Escoyez, right, and her friend Michelle Ullens, center, visit their friend Parvine Djazayeri via a crane platform from her fourth floor window at the La Cambre senior living home in Watermael-Boitsfort, Belgium. Tristan Van den Bosch, an operator of mobile platforms, saw his equipment stand idle because of the coronavirus pandemic and realized too many families could not see their locked-up elderly in care homes. Two problems created one solution and Van den Bosch has been driving his cranes to care homes in several towns across Belgium to lift the spirits of all involved. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged governments, civil society and health authorities on Wednesday to urgently address mental health needs arising from the coronavirus pandemic, warning that psychological suffering is increasing.

The U.N. chief said in a video message launching a policy briefing that “after decades of neglect and under-investment in mental health services, the COVID-19 pandemic is now hitting families and communities with additional mental stress.”

He pointed to “grief at the loss of loved ones, shock at the loss of jobs, isolation and restrictions on movement, difficult family dynamics, and uncertainty and fear for the future.”

Guterres said those most at risk and in need of help are front-line health care workers, older people, adolescents, young people, those with preexisting mental health conditions, and those caught up in conflict and crisis.

“Mental health services are an essential part of all government responses to COVID-19,” he said. “They must be expanded and fully funded.”

The 17-page U.N. briefing stressed that “the mental health and well-being of whole societies have been severely impacted by this crisis and are a priority to be addressed urgently.”

The U.N. said “a long-term upsurge in the number and severity of mental health problems is likely” and warned that if action isn’t taken COVID-19 “has the seeds of a major mental health crisis” as well as “a physical health crisis.”

The briefing cited widespread psychological distress from the immediate health aspects of the virus, the consequences of physical isolation, fear of infection, dying and losing family members, physical distancing from loved ones and peers, and economic turmoil.

“Frequent misinformation and rumors about the virus and deep uncertainty about the future are common sources of distress,” the U.N. briefing said.

“In every community, there are numerous older adults and people with preexisting health conditions who are terrified and lonely,” it said. “Emotional difficulties among children and adolescents are exacerbated by family stress, social isolation, with some facing increased abuse, disrupted education and uncertainty about their futures.”

Because of the size of the problem, the U.N. said, most mental health needs remain unaddressed.

It pointed to a historic under-investment in mental health needs and called for the widespread availability of emergency mental health and psychological support during the pandemic.

The U.N. also urged the development of mental health services for the future “to support society’s recovery from COVID-19.”

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19 COMMENTS

  1. Population of Georgia: 10.6 million.

    273,904 COVID-19 tests administered

    Assume, one test per person: Georgia has tested 2.24% of its population and they opened up.

    State health officials released data at 1 p.m. that shows the death toll from COVID-19 in Georgia now stands at 1,505 reported deaths. In all, there have been 35,332 cases reported, 6,259 hospitalizations and 1,494 ICU admissions.

    The numbers show an increase 44 additional reported deaths and 697 new reported cases since noon Tuesday.

    THIS IS NOT TAKING THE COUNTRY BACK.

    • The population of Georgia is over 10 million. And for 44 additional deaths – i.e., 0.00044% of the population – you want to shut down those 10 million? Where’s your seichel?

      (And you do know that there are other causes of death too, none of which were ever a reason to shut down an entire state, let alone an entire country – and some of which increase _as a result of_ the lockdown and the concomitant psychological stresses mentioned in the article?)

    • Now let me rip apart your stupidty,

      Let me teach some math. In order to have credblity your sample set needs to be of specific size. The best is 3,003 but we can deal with 1,082. When you see 500 new cases a day and 23 deaths a day (Yes I googled the chart by the cdc) its hardly credible.

      Now overall I looked at the curve, new cases peaked on Apr 7th at 1600, deaths on April 20 at 86. (which is a sensible lag). Since that peak of new cases its been down to an avreage of about 700 a day. Its never going to be a straight downward curve (or even like NY who is generally down albiet upticks) due to the law of large numbers and the lack thereof. (NY has more credibility). If you draw a regression line though its slope would be downward.

      Furthermore, with numbers that low (35K total and 500/ 600 new daily . 1,500 deaths and 25-50 daily) one should be able to contain that while reopening. That’s manageable.

      And why look at one sample set? Look at israel and other countries that reopened

      As you often do Phineas , you pick on piety details with seeing the full picture. Your comments lacks any intellect and is just an emotional reaction to OCD and fear.

      THIS IS PRECISELY TAKING THE COUNTRY BACK

      PS I did not even discuss the notion that lock downs are simply unattainble. You cam’t keep people locked up. Its a bandaid solution with tons of reprecussions. Its not a viable long term solution. The clock is kind of up on using this cure whether you like it or not. This is a serious pandemic but find a better solution.

      • You didnt correct my math
        Georgia didnt test and now they reopened. They haven’t tested so their numbers are low. They are walking into a buzz saw.

        • Umm but their deaths are low too. It doesn’t seem like if they tested it would increase by much. If more are really sick deaths would be greater . This proves that it really is low

          • So you think that a high infection rate but low death rate suffices to open up the economy even if the sickness is not contained? Only death suffices? It has to be isolated. You need testing and contact tracing.

        • No Phineas I think a low death rate kind of proves that your theory of a high infection rate is bogus. There is no high infection rate and the numbers are correct. If it were higher more would die

        • As I told you already there are ample tests so I don’t buy those buba masses . I see tests being dished out like candy . And as the numbers keep going down less tests are used so our reserve grows and it’s ample .

          Now to be fair there is a shortage of anti body tests . And as I commented on vin elsewhere today , I do not like trumps altitude of no reSurgence game plan . I think the govt has to go on a major hiring spree and work on a game plan fkr the fall. But we also must reopen

      • If I’m talking about Georgia, WHY WOULD I LOOK AT NY AND ISRAEL. Georgia is the first to open and it hasn’t achieved even 3% TESTING. If you have testing, you can open even a large city once you flatten the curve. If you don’t have testing, you’re just chasing the virus around.
        Trump is the one that talks about what a great governor Georgia has. By the way Archie, April is over, why is Covid still here? You weren’t wrong were you?

        • First of all, I don’t buy your Georgia Torah either . Proof is deaths are so low. Furthermore , I believe the point you are trying to make is we need to look at the Georgia model which you say ( I disagree ) is a failure bec no ample tests exist here in Ny . I say that’s bogus . Every yuckel gets a test like candy from an urgent care center . So there are plenty .

          Now there may not be anti body tests etc… but there are ample covid tests . And as the demand goes down reserved for up .

          Now re my April predictions , mr honest who keeps on harping over the same stupidity. Here is the thing. This kind of thing is unprecedented. We get so many warnings on so many different things . We can’t live a life in fear or We’d cease to exist. I dont regret being optimistic before it hit us. I believe that’s the proper way. And by the way, no one believed it even Democrat politicians . They announced schools will close in a weeks time . If you really believe in its severity you don’t wait so long .
          Lastly even I will say , now that it hit us , make a game plan for a resurgence. Don’t be a fool and stay in denial . That game plan is not to keep everything closed rather “ Brights” game plan . Read up on it .

          • The difference is that intelligent people understand it’s unprecedented and don’t pull predictions based upon what they want to be true. As for the stats, they are documented by Georgia, their numbers.

          • Again I don’t know what you are hocking achink about . The issue of ample tests is not a prediction . We see it with our own eyes. We can also graph the trend of test supplies month by month and see its way up. How high do you need it to be ? It’s quite obvious that as fewer people take get ill and take tests plus we produce lots more daily your reserve goes up . That’s not a prediction buddy . You are living a month ago not now

            As far as GA is concerned, again it’s nonsense. The numbers prove that your theory is silly. You claim many more are sick just not being tested. If that were true why are only 30/40 people dying daily while ny has 1500/2000? You can hide an illness but not a death .

            This is just nonsense bec you anti trump guys are mad they reopen

          • Now phineas lets discuss predictions.

            1) We are a rodef if we attend a safely social distanced minyan. How many of that turned out to be true?
            2) We are all maing doom and gloom predictions for the fall. Noone is saying we need to be “careful” about a possible resurgence. They are saying it will return twice as hard. Why is that intelligent?

  2. Shtusim! Of course there is a increase, because they are testing everybody now, don’t test every Joe shmo and there will be no increase

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