24th Nov, 2020

People with mental health worries urged to seek help as part of NHS' new campaign

Ross Crawford 20th Nov, 2020

PEOPLE with mental health worries are being urged to seek help in a new phase of the NHS’s Help Us Help You campaign.

Although mental health services have been running throughout the pandemic there has been a marked dip in referrals despite evidence that coronavirus is making problems more common.

Now a new NHS campaign will encourage anyone suffering from anxiety, depression or other issues to come forward for assessment and treatment.

NHS talking therapies, also known as Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT), are a confidential service ran by fully trained experts.

People can access the service by visiting their GP or refer themselves online.

Claire Murdoch, NHS National Director for Mental Health said: “The NHS has been and continues to be here for the nation’s mental health.

“We know the impact Covid and lockdown can have on people’s mental health and it has never been more important to seek help.

“We are proud to launch our first national campaign on mental health services today and encourage people to come forward for mental health care.

“People might feel nervous about burdening the NHS or getting exposed to the virus but remember we are here to help.”

She urged people, no matter what age they were, to get the help they needed.

In April 2020 only 57,814 referrals were made compared to 133,191 in April 2019.

The latest figures from July show that referrals are recovering, but are still down by 11 per cent compared to last year.

Some have experienced mental health issues for the first time during the pandemic and lockdown while others have seen them return.

Common anxiety problems seen include (but are not restricted to) panic attacks, social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive problems, generalised anxiety/worry, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) reported almost one in five adults were likely to be experiencing some form of depression during the pandemic and almost one in eight developed moderate to severe depressive symptoms.

The NHS is here to help. To find out more about talking therapies, you can visit the mental health section of the NHS website.

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