They warned about depression and suicidal thoughts in health personnel

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) warned of high rates of depressive symptoms, suicidal thoughts and psychological discomfort in health personnel as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The data were released after a study carried out in 11 Latin American countries, including Argentina.

Called “The COVID-19 HEalth caRe wOrkErs Study (HEROES)”, this study was led by the universities of Chile and Columbia. “The pandemic is not over. It is essential to take care of those who care for us,” said Anselm Hennis, director of PAHO’s Department of Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health.

The study was based on 14,502 interviews with health workers from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Bolivia, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Uruguay. In addition, academics and researchers from different institutions of these nations were part of the study.

As they pointed out, “between 14.7% and 22% of the health personnel interviewed in 2020 presented symptoms that made it possible to suspect a depressive episode.” At the same time, between 5 and 15% of these workers admitted that they thought about committing suicide. Only a third said they received psychological attention when they needed it.

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