Experts have warned of serious problems developing as England enters the third national lockdown. One stated, “The pandemic has created a mental health time bomb.”
Draconian measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus variant will severely affect many during the grueling winter months.
Depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder are expected as the limitations create a terrible deja vu feeling.
The blow is particularly hard given the nearness of the New Year, when many had believed the beginning of 2021 would mark a more optimistic fate.
Michael Gove said this morning the restrictions on liberty would last for months and cause more gloom among the public.
And children – after being told schools are safe – face difficult home study after a U-turn by Boris Johnson and his administration.
During his coronavirus press conference today, the Prime Minister said approximately £ 12 billion had been spent on psychiatric care for the NHS, with a further £ 19-20 million spent on mental health charities.
Emma Thomas, Managing Director of YoungMinds, told MailOnline: ‘The pandemic is exacerbating the mental health crisis of young people and there is growing evidence that the effects could be significant and long term. Young people tell us that they have struggled to cope with the changes and loss of coping mechanisms caused by the pandemic. Many of them experience social isolation, fear and anxiety about their future.
“Many lost access to mental health care during the initial lockdown, while others chose not to seek help at a time when the NHS was under so much pressure. As the pandemic continues through the winter and another lockdown is confirmed, it is likely that more young people will struggle to deal with it.
“If you have difficulty coping with this, you are not alone and however you are feeling right now is valid. It is important to ask for help – be it from friends, family, a doctor, counselor, teacher, or a helpline. It’s also a good idea to take the pressure off as much as possible and do things that you enjoy or that help you relax if you can. ‘
Rosie Weatherley, Information Content Manager at Mind, said people should try to focus on creating coping mechanisms.
She told MailOnline, “I wonder if you have any thoughts about the difficulties people might face in view of the new lockdown and any comments about what help is available to people.
“It’s okay to feel overwhelmed or upset about anything that’s happening.” Many of us hoped 2021 would be better than last year, but at least for the first few months it will still be difficult. The vaccination offers hope, but not immediately. So try to accept your feelings, create positive coping mechanisms, and focus on ensuring that this will not be the case forever.
A survey by Mind found that young people were more affected by loneliness during the lockdown
“Lockdowns are necessary to protect people from this devastating pandemic, but limitations add additional challenges to our mental health.
“When we are unable to connect in person, we impair our ability to connect with our support networks and maintain our relationships in the normal way, and can increase feelings of loneliness.
“Some of us may find that our usual coping techniques to improve our wellbeing are no longer available, such as when we go to the gym. When we are deprived of choices about how we spend our time, it can affect our sanity.
Mind calls for bipartisan mental health help when the lockdown begins
Rosie Weatherley, information content manager at Mind, said: “It is important that mental health support is available to all those in need. This means making appropriate investments in mental health services – from early intervention and prevention to the emergency care that someone receives. when he receives it. ” You are the most uncomfortable.
“The sooner people receive mental health support, the more likely they are to benefit from treatment. If we step into another national lockdown similar to the one in March, critical, well-stocked, and timely mental health care will be available to those who need it – especially those with serious mental health problems.
“The services have to continue to adapt to ensure that no one falls through the gaps, e.g. B. digital or telephone support when personal services are closed again. The NHS has a responsibility to communicate how people can access help during the lockdown to prevent another unprecedented surge in referrals. But it’s not just about health care, the government needs to recognize the impact that social factors – such as debt, employment status and housing quality – can have on our mental health. These need to be addressed through an intergovernmental approach to protecting and improving the nation’s mental health. This is more important than ever as we find ourselves in yet another economic recession where many more people are facing such issues and may need assistance from the benefit system. ‘
“When we feel stuck or trapped with few options, we can feel frustrated, bored, and out of control over our lives.”
“But there are many things you can do to take care of yourself and ways to regain control in small ways.
“There are many self-care techniques that can help improve your well-being.
“Regular exercise, ideally outdoors in nature, can make a big difference to our physical and mental health.
“While we may not be able to see your loved ones face to face, you can connect with others as often as possible via text, phone, email, or video call.
“Most importantly, when you are in trouble, know that you are not alone.
“Whatever your particular experience, remember that support is available and you don’t waste time asking for help.
“Don’t wait until it is unbearable to ask for help.
” First contact your general practitioner. Many offer virtual or telephone exams.
“If you are unwilling and unable to speak to a doctor, you are putting yourself in someone else whom you trust.”
During the press conference that evening, Hannah from Northamptonshire asked Mr. Johnson, “My question is, how do you support people with severe mental health problems.
For example, my mother has schizophrenia and does not understand the pandemic circumstances. How would you help someone like her? ‘
He replied: “Thank you very much for your question and of course I am very sorry for the additional fear that the pandemic is causing people like your mother and people with mental illnesses.
“I fully understand why people are concerned. We obviously put a huge amount into NHS mental health care. I think it’s about another £ 12 billion or something.
“But right during the pandemic, Hannah is trying to support some of the wonderful mental health charities that are helping people like your mother. I think we put about £ 19m or £ 20m in that.
“That’s what we’re doing right now, but clearly the best thing for your mom and everyone is that we get through this as soon as possible.”
Professor Ellen Townsend of the Self-Harm Research Group at the University of Nottingham pointed out the impact the lockdown would have on people.
She said: “We know that suicidal thoughts increased among young people when they were first locked in the UK.
Paul Farmer, CEO of Mind, has emphasized the importance of increased support in winter as there is a fear that people will “fall through the gaps” if emergency measures wear off or stop
“There was a worrying signal that suicides among young people increased during the initial lockdown.
“We know that loneliness, social isolation and mental health problems have risen sharply in young people.”
Child behavior expert Elizabeth O’Shea warned MailOnline that fighting for young people and their parents was imminent at the third lockdown.
She said: “The pandemic has created a time bomb for mental health.
‘The biggest problem is the mental health impact. I think we know in the parenting industry that we’re going to have three main problems: depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Experts have said that connecting with friends online while in isolation can improve mental health
“These will be the three main mental health problems because the children have been locked up for such a long time in the child’s life.
“It can be overwhelming to have it happen again. So for me, how do parents deal with it, how do they deal with their fears, how do they deal with schoolwork again? What do you have to do?
“It is very important to build things into family life to help them cope. Exercise is important, being outside is important. Bring the children in contact with their friends as much as possible, using Zoom calls or Skype calls. ‘
It comes just weeks after charities warned two-thirds of young people about a decline in mental health and the numbers deteriorated “across the spectrum” as calls to a suicide hotline rose by nearly a third during the last lockdown are.
A survey by Mind of 16,000 banned members of the public found that half of adults felt that their well-being had deteriorated in 2020 and many were experiencing mental health problems for the first time.
Samaritans had had more than a million conversations with Brits since the lockdown began in March, while Papyrus, a suicide hotline for those under 35, saw a surge in conversations as stricter measures returned in November.
Depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder are feared for this third lockdown
The dead student was stressed out about Covid
Finn Kitson, 19, was found dead in the University of Manchester dormitories
The son of a Cambridge graduate died in his dormitory after suffering “severe anxiety” during lockdown.
19-year-old Finn Kitson was found dead on the University of Manchester’s Fallowfield campus after students in the city saw a surge in Covid-19 cases.
Officials said the October 8 tragedy had nothing to do with viruses, but his father, Michael Kitson, said this was not true.
The Cambridge economist added, “If you imprison young people with little support, expect them to experience severe anxiety.”
Mr Kitson also expressed concern “about all young people currently suffering from so much stress”.
Finn’s mother Jane Denney said: “Our beautiful, brilliant and lovable son Finn has passed away. We are incredibly devastated. ‘
Paul Farmer, CEO of Mind, said in December, “From our coronavirus survey of around 16,000 people, we know that more than half of adults and two-thirds of young people said their mental health had deteriorated during the pandemic and many problems developed for the first time.
“There is evidence that mental health is deteriorating across the spectrum, from the prevalence of more common mental health problems like depression to people in crisis and hospitalized.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that the rate of depression increased from about 1 in 10 (9.7 percent) before the pandemic (July 2019 to March 2020) to almost one in five adults (19.2 percent) during the pandemic doubled (June 2020). “
Papyrus UK operates a Hopeline for young people under 35 who have thoughts of suicide.
According to the charity, nine out of ten calls are related to lockdown measures, while the number of contacts rose 27 percent in the first week after the lockdown in November.
Ged Flynn, General Manager of PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide said, “The charity is concerned that there will be a longer term emotional distress issue after the lockdown.
“I fear that a whole generation of young people will feel the effects of the current crisis for a while.
“We already receive a lot of calls, texts and emails every day from young people who are thinking of suicide or from those who fear for someone in their family or at work who may have it. Call rates are increasing now. ‘
At the start of the outbreak, Mind, Samaritans, Shout, Hospice UK and The Royal Foundation set up Our Frontline – a dedicated hotline for employees who were out and about during the lockdown.
Since then, more than 2,200 interviews have been held with health, social and emergency services and other key employees.