The COVID-19 pandemic is having a major impact on the mental health of populations in the Americas. Studies show high rates of depression and anxiety, among other psychological symptoms, particularly among women, young people, those with pre-existing mental health conditions, health workers, and persons living in vulnerable condi- tions. Mental health systems and services have also been severely disrupted. A lack of financial and human resource investments in mental health services, limited implementation of the decentralized community-based care approach and policies to address the mental health gap prior to the pandemic, have all contributed to the current crisis. Coun- tries must urgently strengthen their mental health responses to COVID-19 by taking actions to scale up mental health and psychosocial support services for all, reach marginalized and at-risk populations, and build back better mental health systems and services for the future.
Mental Health, COVID-19, Americas, health policy,