Good Mental Health Is More Important Than Ever: The Lancet
During a pandemic, good mental health is more important than ever,” the authors wrote in an editorial.
On the occasion of World Mental Health Day, an editorial published in The Lancet journal elaborated on the theme for this year - increased investment in mental health.
“At the best of times, good mental health is needed for a society to thrive. During a pandemic, good mental health is more important than ever,” the authors wrote.
“Without a focus on mental health, any response to COVID-19 will be deficient, reducing individual and societal resilience, and impeding social, economic, and cultural recovery. 2020 has been a difficult year for mental health.”The Lancet
The COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying distress and uncertainties have triggered a parallel mental health crisis across the world - affecting those who had hitherto remained unaffected, and worsening the conditions of individuals who had already been struggling mentally with pre-existing conditions.
What is needed to mitigate this impact?
The authors quote the recommendations from the Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health and Sustainable Development in 2018, that identified mental health as an essential component of universal health coverage and suggested initiatives such as involving a broader range of stakeholders in planning and delivering mental health services.
“On a global scale, this strategy involves the empowerment of individuals and communities, the admission that high-income countries have much to learn from the innovations of low-income and middle-income settings, and the recognition of the central role of mental health in global health security now and in the future,” they write.
“The economic argument for investment in mental health services is clear and has been made many times, but there is also an ethical imperative for investment, both to redress historic wrongs done to vulnerable communities and to right current inequities.”The Lancet
“Investment must be about more than just money if mental health services are to be made fit to address the challenges of the COVID-19 and post-COVID-19 era and to become resilient against future public health crises. There must be an investment of thought, time, and a commitment to change,” say the authors.
In addition to it all, investment must also cover healthcare workers, public health institutions and those at the forefront of the fight.
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