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Anxiety, depression found to be most prevalent among COVID patients

IANS Mar 23, 2023

Anxiety and depression have been found to be most prevalent among COVID-19 patents, as per a study conducted on more than 1,50,000 people in Jharkhand using the patient health screening tool to assess their mental health.

One in every 10 women and one in every 14 men were found to be having mental health issues. Among women, housewives had the highest prevalence of mental health issues, in the urban areas one in every 11 individuals and in rural one in every 14 individuals were found with mental health issues.

During the study, WHP's tele-health platform received more than 12,000 calls for mental health support from various parts of Jharkhand.

As many as 90 per cent of the callers who were infected by COVID-19 had mild mental health issues of anxiety and depression. A total of 81 per cent persons with mild mental health issues were found to be normal after completing the tele-counselling sessions.

The project -- Comprehensively Addressing Mental Health Issues during COVID-19 Pandemic -- was implemented from June 2021 to December 2022 in eight districts across the state, with the objective of providing early screening, referral and social security linkages to COVID-19 and gender-based violence affected individuals and families.

The project was supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and was implemented with technical support from the Central Institute of Psychiatry (CIP) and Ranchi Institute of Neuro-Psychiatry and Allied Sciences (RINPAS), the two leading mental health institutes in Jharkhand, and World Health Partners.

The eight districts were -- Ranchi, East Singhbhum, West Singhbhum, Ramgarh, Saraikela, Dumka, Simdega and Khunti.

Under the project, in addition to COVID patients, extremely vulnerable groups like transgenders and commercial sex workers were also provided mental health support.

"The COVID-19 pandemic transformed our lives forever. With innumerable lives lost, job losses, financial insecurity, and losing out on activities and social connections, keeping one's mental-physical balance becomes hard," said Prachi Shukla from the World Health Partners.

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