“Covid-19 is the worst public health crisis for more than a century; it’s also aneconomic crisis. In recent months, lockdown measures – intended to stop the spread of the virus – have brought our economies to
a near standstill. The effect of these twin crises on our mental health has been devastating. People are deeply worried about the virus; they’re worried about its impact on their finances, on their personal lives, and the consequences for their friends and family.
The result, as the attached report shows, has been additional stress – and deteriorating levels of mental health. Some people had never suffered from mental ill-health before; others have seen a worsening of previous conditions.
Mental illness has serious repercussions beyond the individual. It’s the root cause of social problems; every year, it leaves countless families devastated. Worse, many mental illnesses go untreated – up to 50%, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). There’s also an economic price to pay: mental ill-health accounts for half of all long-term sick leave in Europe. Overall, the cost to the EU economy of mental ill-health is estimated at a staggering €600 billion a year – equivalent to more than 4% of annual GDP.