Time to talk about mental health

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Over the last few months, the public focus has been fixed on the physical health aspects Coronavirus, but there are many other problems that people have been suffering during the pandemic.

There is increasing concern that financial problems, loneliness, isolation and other worries are having a negative impact on people’s mental health. 

Laurie Dahl, Senior Lecturer in Mental Health at the Kingston University School of Nursing, says that both lockdown’s have had a detrimental effect on people mentally.

He said: “It’s an undeniable truth that lockdown has affected most people’s mental health, and most of this effect is negative.”

Many have questioned whether the government is doing enough to provide support to people suffering with mental health problems. “Whether the government is doing enough regarding the nation’s mental health is a moot point, as the default position is that not enough funding is given to Mental Health services.”

“It has to be accepted that these are exceptional times. What the government is doing regarding furloughing people is in a sense helping large numbers’ mental health, that has to be accepted. Whether it is enough is doubtful.”

Dahl also suggests it is difficult for the government to concentrate on mental health to the extent that is needed when there is so much else, such as Brexit, going on. He said: “I doubt the government would consider the effects on the nation’s wellbeing in relation to Brexit alone. To be dealing with the pandemic on top is already stretching the abilities of the government.”

Kingston University offers a range of services to help people who are struggling, including counselling. This is important for students who are living away from their families for the first time, and may be in a different city or even country to what they have been used to.

If you’re concerned about your well-being during this pandemic, call the Samaritans free on 116 123, or email jo@samaritans.org, or try their self-help app.

 

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