Saturday 10thOctober is World Mental Health Day.
Over the last few years, mental health has become a growing public health concern. The widespread impacts of COVID-19 have meant that demand for mental health and psychosocial support has risen exponentially over the last few months and this increase is set to continue even more substantially over the coming months and years.
Carers in India, Nepal and Bangladesh have been incredibly hard hit by the pandemic. The persons they care for, with pre-existing illnesses and disabilities, are at high risk of serious complications should they catch the virus. This factor causes additional stress to carers and households, who were already living under intense strain before COVID19 emerged. Added to the fear of the virus itself, the loss of access to healthcare, therapy and education has increased the concerns of carers for the long term futures of their loved ones. A recent survey of our partner organisations showed that carers in all our project areas have experienced increased mental health concerns since the start of the pandemic, with 55% reporting significant increases in stress and anxiety.
Many carers and family members have seen their livelihood opportunities threatened due to lockdown restrictions and the economic downturn being experienced globally. This is putting increased financial pressure on already stretched household resources. Our partners report that 72% of carers and their families have seen a reduction in household income since the start of the pandemic and this is likely to continue into the foreseeable future. Concerns related to income, employment and providing for their families are adding to the stress and anxiety of carers.
Along with the World Health Organisation, Carers Worldwide is calling for there to be an increased investment in mental health services, which are currently chronically underfunded and now needed more than ever. As well as campaigning for governments to recognise their duty to care for persons with mental health issues, we will continue to work closely with our partners to ensure carers and their families have access to timely and local expertise to support their mental health needs.
Please share this article across your Social Media platforms to raise awareness on the mental health challenges facing carers and their loved ones and to demand greater spending on mental health services by governments across the globe.
Follow Carers Worldwide on our Social Media platforms to keep updated on the ways we are supporting the mental health of carers and their families.