UK reports big rise in mental health issues amid Covid lockdown
London, Feb 28 (IANS) Mental health issues have grown drastically amid the coronavirus lockdown in Britain, local media reported on Saturday.
“What we perceive as straightforward symptoms, even something like a sore throat, even those calls are coming through with mental health issues,” Ruth Lander, a member of the training team for the non-emergency 111 service in North Wales, said.
“It has definitely increased the mental health aspects to the calls we get — they may be elderly and struggling with loneliness or a young mum who has lost her support network and is struggling,” Lander said.
“People are anxious and they are scared, and that’s the benefit of this service because we can explain and help those patients,” Lander added.
According to Jason Killens, the chief executive of the Welsh Ambulance Service, even with increased public awareness of mental health support, the full effects of lockdown are only just emerging, the Xinhua news agency reported.
“We expect these problems to increase and for them to become even more complex as people suffer different stresses in their lives across our communities,” Killens said.
“Everyone has been touched by the pandemic in some way — many people have lost their jobs, of course, and that creates anxiety and mental health problems too,” he said.
“There is increasing recognition over recent years that mental health needs parity with physical health in terms of how we provide services and care for patients,” he said.
“We have got a small number of mental health clinicians within our service and we expect to expand that this year… we realise there is more that we can do and that we can do better,” he added.
England is currently under the third national lockdown since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country. Similar restriction measures are also in place in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Another 8,523 people in Britain have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total number of coronavirus cases in the country to 4,163,085, according to official figures released Friday.
The country also reported another 345 coronavirus-related deaths. The total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Britain now stands at 122,415. These figures only include the deaths of people who died within 28 days of their first positive test.
To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Germany, Russia and the United States have been racing against time to roll out coronavirus vaccines.