Rethink Mental Illness response to new Covid-19 national lockdown
02 November 2020
The government announced another national lockdown in efforts to lessen the number of coronavirus cases on Saturday evening.
Here's the response of our Deputy CEO, Brian Dow, on what impact the lockdown could have on the nation's mental health:
“A weight of evidence has built to demonstrate the impact of lockdown on the nation’s mental health, with a heavy cost to those already living with mental illness. Our research during the first lockdown showed that 79% of people living with mental illness said their mental health was worse because of the pandemic. The sense of social isolation and loneliness that lockdown exacerbates, compounded by significant changes to routine and restricted access to support networks and services, has a significant impact of people living with mental illness. It doesn’t mean a few blue days or that life feels a bit harder, it may trigger a relapse which can take years to recover from.
Our research during the first lockdown showed that 79% of people living with mental illness said their mental health was worse because of the pandemic.
“It’s crucial that access to services is maintained during this period, that people are actively encouraged to seek support if they’re struggling and that we all do our bit to support one another too.
“The government must also step up and prioritise the nation’s mental health. In the face of continued uncertainty and disruption this means sufficient funding and resources for the NHS, and a cross-government response to ensure the welfare system works effectively alongside health and social care services to respond to people’s needs in the difficult months ahead.”