Mental Health during the Pandemic
Much has been stated about the possible effects of the pandemic on the mental health of much of the population.
The British Medical Journal states that we must wait for more data to come in yet but that there are concerns about the younger members of the population around suicidal thoughts and self-harming.
Evidence does exist from previous epidemics such as SARS (2003) of a rise in suicides after the event. What evidence there is in the UK suggests that there was an increase in suicides among those under 18 years during the first lockdown period in 2020.
The data that does concern health professionals is that before the pandemic, in 2019, suicide rates among men in England and Wales were the highest since 2000. However, despite suicide in young people being quite rare it has been rising in 10- to 24-year-olds since 2010.
What they are all agreed on is that society must apply suitable safety nets in preparation for a possible increase in mental health problems overall. Workplace policies and help for those out of work should be increased. Mainstream media must also take responsibility in avoiding alarming headlines and speculation but also provide aid in making people aware of where to find assistance.
The conclusion that the BMJ makes is that suicide is preventable, and action should be taken now to protect people’s mental health. We must all remain vigilant and responsive. With that in mind here at www.GreatHealthWatch.net we come back to our previous post asking people to consider another aspect that benefits all of us.
In recent years more emphasis has been placed on how to:
Become a Mental Health First Aider
There are many excellent courses available now for qualifying as a Mental Health First Aider. No matter what the aftermath of the lockdowns people will need more help from professionals with training in this excellent service.
Who wouldn’t want to help their fellows to have:
- Full knowledge of mental health and what affects health and happiness.
- How to pick up on the signs of oncoming mental health problems
- How to respond to support your friends, family, colleagues, or anyone else when they show signs.
- The self-confidence to re-assure, support those in suffering distress.
- How to just listen without judging
- The know-how to aid recovery by showing them where they can get more professional help.
- Where to find self-help through work, your doctor, the wider NHS, or a combination of all
The 2-day courses available give you the certification, along with written guidance, lists of references of who to call for further assistance and a complete toolkit to help yourself through any traumas of your own.
Mental Health First Aid England’s courses are made to be accessible for all and they cater for all disabilities and supply translators if required. They are as wonderfully helpful as you would expect for dealing with a subject as sensitive as this.
Check them out at https://mhfaengland.org/mhfa-centre/accessibility/ or even call them on:
0203 928 0760
We All Need a Shoulder At Times
They will even design a course to suit your workplace, organisation, or club.
In addition to MHFA England’s courses there are a number of other private health companies who will provide free toolkit advice such as:
Government Reforms to the Mental Health Act
For details of the government’s policy commitments and proposed reforms go to:
The wheels of government grind slowly but at least their intentions appear helpful to many minorities who suffer disproportionately from Mental Health problems.
The Care Quality Commission are the body that you can refer to discover your rights. They are the Independent Regulator of all Health and Social Care in England. If you go to their website you can download the full copy of the Mental Health Act for any concerns. Our advice though is if you are in any doubt:
Always Call a Mental Health Professional or a First Aider
As we stated earlier First Aid is often the best place to initiate help and get the right guidance, it will help you and the hardworking NHS professionals who have spent the past year caring for all, no questions asked, no judgement given. They deserve far more than a measly clap.
References used in the above article: