In a paper published in Lancet Psychiatry,a panel of 24 specialists call for more funding for research into the impact COVID-19 may have on society's mental well-being.
Two accompanying surveys of the British public showed that most people questioned had experienced heightened anxiety and fear of becoming mentally unwell since the pandemic struck.
The surveys,conducted among more than 3,000 people in Britain,showed a wide range of fears arising from the pandemic.
These include increased anxiety,the effects of social isolation,the fear of becoming mentally unwell and accessing care if needed.
The experts cautioned that these symptoms were likely to continue well into the future,even after the current round of lockdowns are eased.
The authors called for real-time monitoring of anxiety,depression,self-harm and suicide across the world,as well as the creation of treatment programs that can be accessed remotely.