Mental health services are facing a “tsunami” of cases following the closure of COVID-19, warned a major psychiatric organization.
A Royal College of Psychiatrists survey found a 43% increase in urgent and urgent mental health cases since the end of March.
But almost half of the 1,300 clinicians interviewed also saw their appointment canceled.
Professor Wendy Burn, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “We are already seeing the devastating impact of COVID-19 on mental health with more people in crisis, but we are just as concerned for people who need help now but aren don’t understand.
“Our fear is that locking will cause problems. “
During the lockout, Gaynor Spence, 43, of Liverpool, had suicidal thoughts.
“It’s a feeling of being alone, completely alone,” she told Sky News. “It looks like no one cares. “
Ms. Spence has suffered from depression in the past, but the isolation triggered another horrific mental health crisis.
“You feel like nobody will understand, and it gets worse because you don’t tell anyone.
“It turns into a feeling of” no one will be missed “, that no one would know even if you were gone, that there is no point even being here.
“And you think (suicide) would just stop the pain of feeling so depressed and so alone.” “
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Ms. Spence found help with a local suicide prevention charity, The Martin Gallier Project.
Founder Jess Gallier told Sky News that they have seen calls to their helpline increase by 300% since the lockout started.
She said, “Mental health services were already in a complete crisis before COVID happened. The services are so extensive and the waiting lists are so long.
“So I’m very concerned about what happens during the coronavirus, and after the coronavirus, when this demand will only increase and increase for a significant period of time. “
The impact of post-foreclosure economic hardship on people’s mental health is of particular concern.
Benjamin Barr, professor of applied research in public health at the University of Liverpool, said: “During the financial crisis of 2008, we showed that this led to about 1,000 more suicides in England than we would have expected, and this is particularly in the areas most affected by rising unemployment.
“But these things are not inevitable, and the effects on mental health tend to be less severe in countries that have invested more to support people when they are unemployed. “
Professor Barr said that a combination of investments in social and mental health services can lessen the impact of unemployment on mental health.
And Ms. Spence’s story shows that there is hope for people who can access mental health services when they need it most.
She said, “I know at that point, you just want to sit down and you don’t want to tell anyone how you feel.
“But there is help. Don’t think you’re alone, reach out.
“And don’t be ashamed even if you reach out to a stranger. “
:: Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call the Samaritans for help at 116 123 or send an email to [email protected] the UK. In the U.S., call your local Samaritan branch or 1 (800) 273-TALK.