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Britain poised for post-Covid rise in mental health cases

BRITAIN must brace itself for an “inevitable” rise in mental illness as a result of Covid-19, the new president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists warned yesterday.

In his first interview since taking up his post, Dr Adrian James said the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic would affect people with pre-existing mental health conditions and those who have never suffered before.

He said NHS front-line staff needed support, while those recovering from Covid-19 should be screened for issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

And he warned waiting lists for treatment will rise substantially, including for young children and older people.

“There will be very significant mental illness consequences of Covid and we need to be ready,” he said.

Dr James said the pandemic had exacerbated problems for some people with pre-existing conditions, including anxiety and depression, but as the country went into lockdown, fewer had sought help due to fears over catching the virus.

But demand had now begun to rise again, which would stretch services.

 

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