QUOTE – GENEVA, Feb 9 (Reuters) – A quarter of Ukraine’s population is at risk of developing a severe mental health condition as the country grapples with the year-long Russian invasion, a senior health official said on Thursday.
Michel Kazatchkine, a member of the Eastern and Central European and Central Asian Commission on Drug Policy, said the conflict in Ukraine had not only resulted in a shortage of medical supplies and personnel but had also caused a major threat to mental health.
The World Health Organization « estimates that at this time, one out of four people in Ukraine is at risk of severe mental health conditions, » Kazatchkine, who also serves as special adviser to the WHO’s Regional Office for Europe, said.
Describing a recent visit to the Ukrainian city of Dnipro, Kazatchkine said he had seen dozens of military personnel hospitalised with « acute and tragic anxiety, depression and psychiatric conditions ».
« Mental health is becoming a predominant public health issue in Ukraine, » he told reporters in Geneva. « The war and its consequences have led to an increased use of licit and illicit psychoactive substances. »
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