WHO officials answer questions about coronavirus and mental health

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World Health Organization officials are scheduled to answer live questions about the coronavirus pandemic and mental health over social media on Wednesday.

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead on the pandemic, and Devora Kestel, director of mental health and substance use at the Pan American Health Organization, are scheduled to participate.

A study published earlier this week showed that people in the U.S. searched for severe anxiety-related information at record highs beginning in March when the coronavirus pandemic was declared a national emergency. The researchers from the Qualcomm Institute at the University of California, San Diego analyzed Google Trends dating back 16 years.

Researchers looked for searches on “anxiety” or “panic” in combination with “attack,” such as “panic attack,” “signs of anxiety attack,” “anxiety attack symptoms,” according to the study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine. 

The United Nations, the parent organization of the WHO, has previously warned that the coronavirus pandemic “has the seeds of a major mental health crisis.”

— CNBC’s Noah Higgins-Dunn contributed to this report. 



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