One-fifth of people living in war zones are affected by Mental Illness

The World Health Organization (WHO) say that one in five people living in war zones are suffering from some kind of mental illness. The mental illness includes depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. The world body said this on Tuesday and further added that many suffer from severe forms on these illnesses.

The UN’S health agency have highlighted the long-term impact of war-induced crises. Some of countries under observation are Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The people suffering mental illness in warzones are higher than in peacetime populations. In peacetime populations, only one in 14 people suffer from mental illness.

The research team said, “Given the large numbers of people in need and the humanitarian imperative to reduce suffering, there is an urgent need to implement scalable mental health interventions to address this burden.” Mark van Ommeren is a mental health specialist at the WHO. He also worked with the research team. He said, “add yet more weight to the argument for immediate and sustained investment, so that mental and psychosocial support is made available to all people in need living through conflict and its aftermath”.

According to United Nations figures, in 2016, the number of ongoing armed conflicts reached an all-time high of 53 in 37 countries. Another shocking figure is that 12% of the world’s population are living in active war zone. About 69 million people were forced to flee war and violence since World War II.

The research team had analyzed 129 studies and data from 39 countries published between 1980 and August 2017. The research team have not included natural disasters and public health emergencies in the study.

Staff writer for the Chicago Morning Star

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