Participation of the PABSEC International Secretariat to the OECD virtual event “Addressing the hidden pandemic: The impact of COVID on Mental Health”, 15 April 2021
Mr. Miltiadis Makrygiannis, PABSEC Deputy Secretary General, attended the virtual event “Addressing the hidden pandemic: The impact of COVID on Mental Health”, organized by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), on 15 April 2021.
The keynote speakers, experts and mental professionals, that took the floor during the meeting, pointed that poor mental health has long been stigmatized, discouraging many people suffering from seeking help or treatment and stressed that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced everyone to change, adapt, and experiment, underlining that, while this is a major stress test at the same time there is an opportunity for improvement.
They estimated that one out of four persons worldwide now suffers from depression and anxiety levels have been found to have risen in an even greater proportion. As COVID-19 has swept the globe, it is clear that another major health crisis has been marching silently in its footsteps: a mental health pandemic, whose impact may well outlive the virus itself.
They also stressed that mental health services are already over-burdened and under-resourced, pointing that, without decisive action from OECD governments, the rising rates of depression and anxiety will mean that the gap between mental health service capacity and need widens even more. For all its woes, the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the fact that mental health is critical for the health of our societies, and our economies. If the current turmoil in our lives and societies propels us to give mental health the attention it deserves, our future may yet prove to be a healthier one.
To that point, they focused on presenting ways in order to lessen the impacts and make mental health a priority.