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On World Mental Health Day, October 10, it will have been more than 18 months since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In some countries, life is returning to some semblance of normality; in others, rates of transmission and hospital admissions remain high, disrupting the lives of families and communities.
In all countries, the pandemic has had a major impact on people’s mental health. Some groups, including health and other frontline workers, students, people living alone, and those with pre-existing mental health conditions, have been particularly affected. At the same time, a WHO survey conducted in mid-2020 clearly showed that services for mental, neurological and substance use disorders had been significantly disrupted during the pandemic.
It’s time to capitalize on this renewed energy among government leaders to make quality mental health care for all a reality. World Mental Health Day presents an opportunity for government leaders, civil society organizations and many others to talk about the steps they are already taking and that they intend to take in support of this goal.