The Mental Health Commissioners Network and the Mental Health Network held a joint webinar on 24 June, 2020 to look at what the future demand is likely to be for mental health services as a result of the pandemic, and what priorities for the NHS will be and the funding available to deliver this going forward.
The speakers were Prof Louis Appleby, Director of the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Safety in Mental Health; Lead, National Suicide Prevention Strategy for England and Claire Murdoch CBE, National Mental Health Director, NHS England, and the session was chaired by Dr Phil Moore, Chair of the Mental Health Commissioners Network.
This briefing is based on that webinar; the commentary below is from the Mental Health Commissioners Network and the Mental Health Network.
As a result of the COVID-19 emergency, there is a consensus that we are likely to see an increase in mental health problems, and possibly in the suicide rate. There is some evidence that we have already seen an increase in the prevalence of depression, anxiety and lower wellbeing since lockdown
There are also likely to be indirect consequences of the pandemic that will impact mental health, such as complex bereavement, loneliness, disconnection from support networks, job loss and financial hardship and fears associated with contracting the virus and what the future will hold.