We have been living through the most extraordinary 18 months of our lives and for many people life is slowly starting to get back to normal.
They are taking holidays abroad, seeing friends and loved ones and going back to the office. Sadly though, this simply isn’t the case for everyone.
Many have lost their loved ones, relatives have been buried without families present and partners ushered into the back of ambulances never to be seen again.
On the frontline – while working 12-hour shifts at London’s St George’s Hospital during the pandemic – I have helped children say goodbye to their loved ones on an iPad over Zoom. It is heartbreaking and a type of grief that none of us were prepared for.
Jon Corken/Grimsby Live)
This virus has stripped the humanity out of grieving. Then there is the fear. Fear of catching the virus and the fear of spreading it to those we love.
Too many people didn’t want to trouble the NHS in the early days of the pandemic and are now arriving in A&E with conditions that are too far gone.
Those who tried to get appointments are facing the longest waiting times for treatment in the history of our NHS – all after a decade of decline of our public services at the hands of the Conservatives.
The Daily Mirror is today launching our new campaign HeadStrong: Better Mental Health For All.
We’re calling for:
- Early Access Mental Health Hubs for under 25s to be rolled out across the country, with at least one for each trust.
- Waiting times to be cut so people actually start treatment with a professional within four weeks
- The Govt to fill in the gaps in care – an end of red tape which means many don’t fit the set criteria to get help plus 8,500 more mental health staff
- Compulsory Mental Health education lessons in schools, plus paid counsellors in schools and care homes
Want to help? Write to your MP and ask them to support the current Early Day Motion 459 to debate mental health and the pandemic in parliament.
The impact this has on people’s mental health cannot be downplayed. That is before we look at the growing waiting times for mental health services.
With so many people saying their mental health has got worse during the pandemic and more parents saying their children’s mental health has been affected, it is easy to see the lasting impact that Covid-19 will have on the country’s mental health.
How to get help: If you are struggling or you are worried about a loved one, contact Samaritans on 116123. For more advice visit nhs.uk/mental-health or www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus