• Oct 06, 2021 . 1 min Read
  • COVID-19 taking a toll on children’s mental health-UN boss

The United Nations (UN) secretary general, António Guterres
Umar Kashaka
Journalist @New Vision

The United Nations (UN) secretary general, António Guterres, has said COVID-19 is taking a heavy toll on the mental health of children and adolescents around the world.

“It's heartbreaking to see so many children and young people struggling with mental health issues, and how little we are doing to support them,” he said on Wednesday.

The former UN high commissioner for refugees said they need more investment in health services and must keep fighting the stigma of seeking help.

“We must urgently expand mental health investments and ensure stigma-free support is available to every young person,” he tweeted. 

Uganda’s case

The most common health problems in Uganda include depression, anxiety, epilepsy, strange behaviour commonly referred to as madness, strange behaviour after traumatic events, alcohol and drug abuse-related disorders, and mental retardation, according to the ministry of health.

Experts say mental health needs to be prioritised today more than ever as the world deals with COVID-19 and its attendant effects.

There are 50 psychiatrists in the country and the majority of them are based at Butabika National Referral Mental Hospital which receives about 1,000 patients a day. 

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