Understandably the most pressing focus of the covid-19 outbreak has been on containing the virus and reducing the number of cases; and subsequently deaths. However, more focus is now being put onto the psychological impact of the pandemic on the nation’s mental health, both short and long term.
Professor Ed Bullmore, as quoted in the Guardian earlier this week, commented that “Our key message is that Covid is likely to have major impacts on mental health”. He went on to add that this impact is not only being seen currently, with the pandemic having an immediate negative effect on people’s mental health but also that this impact is likely to last into the future and that this is something we need to start thinking about “immediately”.
The full article published in the Lancet Psychiatry Bullmore and the team from across mental health sciences raised the following key points;
- The neeed for real-time monitoring of mental health across the nation, including at risk groups and healthcare professionals
- An increase of social and psychological factors known to increase psychological risk: unemployment, separation of families that could lead to increased anxiety and depression
- The need to review policies that link into unemployment and poverty as they are closely linked to mental health problems
- Urgent need to find ways to support people to manage their mental health in particular within more vulnerable groups
- The impact of the media on the virus and mental health
But there is hope and whilst researchers set about constructing surveys and reviews on the long-term impact of the virus, mental health charity Mind have lots of top tips from advice for staying at home, how to look after your mental health and wellbeing, support for work, benefits and housing and a check list for staying at home. Read more here.
We have also set up our own FREE mental health support helpline so anyone experiencing increased mental health symptoms can call us and receive free advice and tips on how to cope from one of our practitioners.
Simply call 020 3855 4578 to book your appointment or click here to find out more.
If you are particularly struggling and feel you need more urgent help, please call the Samaritans (in the UK) on 116 123