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09 Oct 2020

Concerns of prolonged loneliness and uncertainty on World Mental Health Day

This year’s World Mental Health Day, on 10 October, comes at a time when our daily lives have changed considerably as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The past months have brought many challenges: for health-care workers; for students and teachers; for the vast number of people caught in poverty or in fragile settings with extremely limited protection from COVID-19; and for people with mental health conditions, many experiencing even greater social isolation than before.

Marjorie Wallace, Chief Executive of SANE, comments in anticipation of World Mental Health Day:

“SANE has growing concerns about the effect of prolonged loneliness and uncertainty, not just on older people who are isolated but on the young for whom there is some early evidence of increased suicide and self-harm.

“We need urgent investment in mental health services so that there are enough doctors, nurses and therapists to respond to those newly at risk, as well as those whose care has been neglected as a result of the pandemic. 

“Our experience of the increasing levels of depression, fear and distress amongst those who contact us strongly suggests the NHS is at risk of being overwhelmed by a mental health epidemic.”

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