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Spain

Queen Letizia hears of the devastating mental health toll of coronavirus

Queen Letizia at FEDEPE meeting
Casa de S.M. el Rey

On Tuesday, Queen Letizia presided over a conference on the impact the pandemic had on mental health throughout the different vulnerable groups of the population. 

The meeting, which took place in the Audience Room at Zarzuela Palace, included representatives from various associations with which Her Majesty has worked for over a decade: the Spanish Association for Rare Diseases, the Royal Patronage on Disability, the Spanish Red Cross, the Foundation for Help against Drug Addiction, the Spanish Association against Cancer, as well as UNICEF, the Mental Health Confederation and the Spanish Committee of Representatives for People with Disabilities.

After a few welcoming words from Queen Letizia, the conference started with an analysis of the data about mental health during the pandemic: it shows that 46% of the Spanish population manifested a rise in psychological issues during these times, and 44% of the sample interviewed said that they were losing optimism and confidence. 

But it is the deeper data that paints a picture that seems to be the same throughout the world: while about 60% of the population said they have had issues with controlling their worries, or panic attacks, or feeling isolated, only about 7% of citizens sought help from professionals to help with their mental health battle.  

Unfortunately, this pandemic has taken its toll on more than just physical health and the mental health of those immediately affected by the virus. 

And Queen Letizia isn’t the only Royal who is worried about the long term consequences of such a prolonged period of isolation and fear for our lives. In the United Kingdom, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been on the frontlines of advocating for destigmatising mental health for years, now, and they haven’t backed down during these trying times, with frontline workers and vulnerable people being at the forefront of their efforts.