The coronavirus pandemic has increased the sense of loneliness among young people, mental health experts from the Netherlands told Anadolu Agency.

Psychologist Jean-Pierre van de Ven said the young people and couples are most affected by the pandemic, adding: “Young people feel lonely and fear that the epidemic will never end.”

Van De Ven said the pandemic has resulted in a significant increase in the consumption of alcohol and drugs, while some people are suffering from anxiety, depression and loneliness. He warned that this trend may continue even after the pandemic.

Psychologist Sarah Craig said the pandemic has also caused an increase in domestic violence, adding the second wave of the virus has further affected the mental health of couples.

She urged people to have online meetings with their friends and family members and engage themselves in activities, such as reading books and watching movies.

Breathing exercises and meditation can also be beneficial for mental health, she added.

According to a study by the Dutch Association of Mental Health and Addiction Care (GGZ), the number of individuals with psychological issues in 2020 increased by 30-60% compared to the previous year.

Another study published in the International Journal of Public Health said that mental health issues due to the feeling of loneliness during the pandemic would result in an increase of €2 billion in health expenditures.

A research conducted with individuals between the ages of 19 and 40 in the Netherlands also showed a 40-50% increase in health expenditures due to loneliness.

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