Mental Health Epidemic

Mark Dawes, 21 December 2020, Tags:

The news that the Government has cancelled Christmas and put London and the surrounding areas into a severe Tier 4 lockdown - potentially for many months - is a devastating blow to millions of people. In particular, it will be extremely damaging on people’s mental health at a time when people are suffering already - and the winter months always exacerbate conditions like depression. It would have been possible and safe for people to meet at Christmas in some circumstances on a small scale if care was taken and the risks addressed instead the Government has gone for a one size fits all draconian approach that will cause massive suffering.

Along with the pandemic, there is a mental health epidemic which is having catastrophic affects for people largely because of the lockdowns and the resultant isolation. Surveys have shown that over 50% of people have seen a decline in their mental health during the pandemic and there has been a rise in suicides as well as increases in drug abuse/overdoses, alcohol abuse etc. In England, the Centre for Mental Health has predicted that up to 10 million people – almost a fifth of the population – will need mental health support as a direct consequence of Covid-19, with 1.5 million of those expected to be children and young people under 18. We are now in a mental health emergency.

Of course, we need to be taking steps to fight Covid-19 but any policy has to give equal consideration to the mental health epidemic too, currently the Government and it’s advisers are ignoring this and as a result large numbers of people are suffering which will also have long term consequences on their health. If people are suffering from mental health issues, charities like Mind -  https://www.mind.org.uk – provide excellent resources and help.

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