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Rise in Mental Health Difficulties due to COVID-19 seen across the US

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According to BBC, there has been an increase in mental health problems due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ~

Doctors are seeing a rise in people reporting severe mental health difficulties, a group of National Health Services (NHS) leaders says. During the peak of the pandemic, there was a  thirty percent drop in referrals to mental health services, though severe mental health difficulties skyrocketed. The NHS Confederation’s mental health lead, Sean Duggan, said that when coronavirus cases were at their highest, people stayed away from services, as they did from other parts of the NHS. “A&E (accident & emergency) numbers were down, GP (general practitioner) numbers were down. The same occurred in some of our mental health services,” he said, as people tried to ease the burden on the health service and sought to avoid catching the virus (BBC). ~

Professionals predict there will be an increase in demand as high as twenty percent once the pandemic begins to dip. NHS services expect an increase in demand for mental health services as a direct result of the pandemic itself, their report said. A third of Americans are feeling severe anxiety, according to Census Bureau data, and nearly a quarter show signs of depression. A recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that the pandemic had negatively affected the mental health of fifty-six percent of adults. According to Mental Health America, these impacts on mental health are “more pronounced in young people (<25): roughly 9 in 10 are screening with moderate-to-severe depression, and 8 in 10 are screening with moderate-to-severe anxiety.” ~

The NHS Confederation said those who needed help should come forward. “The concern is, if you leave problems they can get worse,” Duggan said (BBC). Meanwhile, providers predict infection control and social-distancing measures will mean they have an estimated ten to thirty percent less capacity than normal, creating obstacles for more people in need to get the help they are pursuing. ~

ARTICLE: KYLE SMITH

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