According to a report, the case of a young man who escaped from the political, economic and social crisis in recent years and the exodus of more than six million Venezuelans from their country has been referred to the UN.
“Leo Medina was diagnosed in the 1990s and under control, but has not been treated in recent years due to the effects of the drug, food shortages and crisis in the Venezuelan economy. The situation only improved after the family took refuge in Guatemala,” the UN statement said in a statement.
The document explains that “Leo Medina, a young woman suffering from schizophrenia, was receiving medication and was under control, but due to the worsening political crisis in Nicolas Maduro’s government, it has become increasingly difficult to continue treatment.”
“There was a shortage of medicine, food and credit. Leo’s parents, Hector and Yesmeira, reduced the dose to four pills a day.
The young man recalled “losing the joy of living in Venezuela, and 6 million Venezuelans had to flee abroad in recent years, leaving everything behind”, he insists.
According to the United Nations, “Leo’s parents were able to escape the crisis in Guatemala, and the young man has been in a critical mental state for a year and a half. There, in the new country, doctors decided to reconsider the case and change the diagnosis from schizophrenia to bipolar disorder.
Today, Leo Medina, 36, recalls that his life began to improve after starting treatment. “The family, who were already entrepreneurs in Venezuela, opened a new business in the Central American country of Venezuela’s Micro Company, in the garage of a house near Guatemala City.”
According to the document, “Refugee mental health is a topic not yet fully explored in international debates” and “the traumas experienced by children and young people who are forced to flee their homes due to conflicts and wars leave scores for a long time”.
“The interruption of treatments against serious diseases is another human drama in times of political crisis and sudden changes in the economic and social structure of the nation as a whole,” the UN explains.
According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), “people displaced by conflict, violence, war and persecution are having a difficult time recovering from mental health problems.”
In 2019, a study published by The Lancet found that “the burden of mental illness is higher in people living in conflict.”
However, Plos Medicine’s research underscores that “adult refugees and asylum seekers have higher and more stable rates of PTSD and depression.”
UNHCR works to make psychological support and mental health a part of its mission.
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