Yesterday marks World Mental Health Day 2021, and it has never been a more pertinent year to discuss it: the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on many of us is still being felt even as we reach the latter stages of it. Aside from the risk of becoming infected, the psychological effect of lockdown restrictions, school closures, self-isolation, joblessness and the simple sense of lost time has left a wide and deep mark in our collective consciousness.
More than two-thirds of adults in the United Kingdom have felt somewhat or very worried about the effect the pandemic is having upon their lives, while an IFS analysis of longitudinal data found that mental health has worsened substantially over the course of the coronavirus outbreak, by a figure of 8.1% across the nation. The level of depression has seen an even more marked jump, with the figure almost doubling from March to June of 2020 alone according to the Office of National Statistics: from 10 to 19%.
Even prior to the pandemic and its reshaping of the world as we know it, an estimated 150 million people in the World Health Organisation’s European Region suffered from a mental health condition, with only a fraction of those receiving the treatment that they need. COVID-19 has been catastrophic for mental health services, not just because of the increased strain that it has placed upon individuals but also due to the diversion of funds, services and staff. This has resulted in even fewer people being given the mental health support that they would have otherwise received. A massive upsurge in online mental health guidance websites corroborates this decline: digital mental health outlet Kooth reported a staggering 89% increase in the use of their platform for adults, with a further 42% in children.
As restrictions have lifted and we ease our way out of the brunt end of the pandemic, these figures highlight the ongoing need for better services and greater vigilance. As the world commemorates Mental Health Day, there can be no better time to plan for the future of you, your business and your colleagues. If you or someone close to you is affected with issues related to mental health, then don’t suffer in silence – get in touch with Healthscreen today to book in for a screening. Our experts are on hand to give you the best support and advice available anywhere.