Cases of anxiety and depression spiked globally last year due to the pandemic. Researchers found that Covid caused a 28% growth in depression cases and a 26% growth in anxiety
An Australian research team led by the University of Queensland found incidences of both mental health conditions grew by around 25 percent in 2020.
Young people under the age of 25 and women were struck particularly hard.
The study adds to the growing data showing the negative impact the pandemic had on the world's collective mental health.
'Our findings highlight an urgent need to strengthen mental health systems in order to address the growing burden of major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders worldwide,' said lead author Dr Damian Santomauro, a researcher from the University of Queensland, in a statement.
'...Even before the pandemic, mental health-care systems in most countries have historically been under-resourced and disorganized in their service delivery. Meeting the added demand for mental health services due to COVID-19 will be challenging, but taking no action should not be an option.'
Researchers, who published their findings on Friday in The Lancet, performed a meta-analysis of 48 studies published during 2020 and in January 2021.
The team identified 246.2 million cases of major depressive disorder in 2020, with a baseline of 193 million cases, meaning the pandemic caused an additional 53.2 million cases of depression - or a growth of 27.5 percent.
Two-thirds of the additional cases were among women, 35.5 million of the 53.2 million.
Women accounted for two-thirds of the growth in both condition, and bore the brunt of last year's mental health impact
Young people were struck the hardest mentally, and researchers point to the closure of schools and other