By Sami Zaptia.
London, 8 June 2021:
Although COVID-19 has led to increased levels of anxiety, vulnerability and psychological stress among all segments of the population, mental health services in Libya are almost non-existent the latest World Health Organization (WHO) report on Libya states.
Lockdowns and curfews have reduced people’s access to Primary Health Care facilities, which are the common entry point for identifying and referring patients who need mental health care. The main psychiatric hospital in Tripoli was closed for much of 2020, and outpatient services were suspended because of COVID-19 restrictions, the report explained.
The WHO 2020 Libya report published today estimates that mental health conditions (e.g., depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder) more than double when populations are affected by conflict.
It says that it is likely that about one in seven Libyans, approximately one million people, need mental health care.
Improving access to mental health and psychosocial support services in Libya remains a priority for WHO. The Organization will shortly begin implementing a two-year project to strengthen mental health services throughout the country, the report said.