WHO reports a concerning lack of mental health services in Libya, over 1 million in need of care

World Health Organization draws attention to the concerning lack of mental health services in Libya and stresses the need to develop and grow institutions to address the issue

WHO estimates that over one million people in Libya are in urgent need of mental health services. [Photo: WHO]
While COVID-19 was the leading cause of increased anxiety, vulnerability, and psychological stress in 2020 globally, the latest World Health Organization (WHO) report on Libya notes that mental health services in Libya are essentially non-existent.

People’s access to Primary Health Care facilities, which are the most common entry point for detecting and referring patients in need of mental health care, has been hampered by lockdowns and curfews. According to the report, the primary psychiatric hospital in Tripoli was closed for much of 2020, and outpatient services were discontinued due to COVID-19 restrictions.

According to the WHO 2020 Libya study, mental health disorders (such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder) more than quadruple when communities are afflicted by violence.

According to the report, one in every seven Libyans, or nearly one million people, requires mental health care.

WHO continues to prioritize improving access to mental health and psychosocial support services in Libya. According to the report, the Organization will soon begin implementing a two-year project to strengthen mental health services across the country.

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