United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday warned that psychological suffering will outlast the coronavirus crisis.
"Even when the pandemic is brought under control, grief, anxiety and depression will continue to affect people and communities," he said in a video message.
The U.N. chief launched a policy brief urging governments, civil society and health authorities to address the mental health dimension of the crisis.
"Mental health services are an essential part of all government responses to COVID-19. They must be expanded and fully funded," Guterres said.
He said the pandemic is increasing psychological suffering, including grief at the loss of loved ones, shock at job losses, isolation and fear for the future.
Health care workers, older people, adolescents, those with pre-existing mental health conditions and those caught up in conflict are most at risk from additional mental stress from the crisis.
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