Mental health was already under pressure, but Covid-19 and its resulting shutdown of services have been devastating for patients, with experts warning the consequences will be felt for years to come.
Despite a surge in demand – with rates of depression doubling this year, according to the Office for National Statistics – services have been shut down, pared back and moved online. Last week, the Royal College of Psychiatrists warned of a “looming” mental health crisis, with two fifths of sufferers only getting help in an emergency and more than one in 10 patients waiting six months or more for help.
The outlook is especially worrying for children and young people. The number of under-18s referred to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in England nearly halved in the first two months of lockdown, according to recent freedom of information requests.
“The pandemic is likely to have exacerbated many of the problems we were already seeing around access to…
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