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One in 10 health workers has suicidal ideas; impact of covid-19

The study emphasized the impact on the mental health of health workers in Chile, of which ten percent of doctors said they constantly have suicidal thoughts. Photo: AFP


Due to the covid-19 pandemic in the Americas region, one in ten health workers experiences suicidal thoughts; one in five suffers from depression; More than 75% suffer stress due to the fear of catching coronavirus and most are concerned about infecting their loved ones, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) warned.

In a virtual press conference, Jarbas Barbosa, deputy director of PAHO, gave an example of what is happening in Chile, but clarified that these figures are part of the preliminary results of the “Heroes” study carried out in six countries in the region.

Healthcare workers have been particularly affected by covid-19, more than any other group of workers.

They are making extraordinary personal sacrifices with difficult decisions and they are there in the trenches working on the pandemic for months, ”he said.


Barbosa added that the health emergency has also increased the level of collective stress and the longer the pandemic lasts, the greater the impacts on mental health.

75 percent of health personnel suffer stress due to fear of contracting coronavirus and infecting their relatives

However, he noted that according to data from a recent survey conducted by PAHO and the World Health Organization (WHO)Due to lack of resources, most of the countries are not providing mental health services, nor do they have the personnel to attend to this problem, at this time, when they are most needed.

He called on governments to allocate resources to provide these services immediately.

He said that the most vulnerable population groups are the elderly, people with disabilities, people with pre-existing diseases, migrants and ethnic minority groups.

The pandemic has increased the level of collective stress in the region of the Americas, causing anxiety and depression. The longer the crisis continues, the greater the impact and these effects will continue to be present, long after the control of the pandemic is achieved ”, warned Jarbas Barbosa.