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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