Three quarters suffering mental health issues in Sheffield not getting treatment due to Covid

A report has shown that three quarters of the 90,000 sufferers of depression and anxiety in Sheffield are not getting treatment.

The council report included a figure from the Office for National Statistics, ONS, which estimated that depression in adults doubled during lockdown especially in women and young adults.

Lisa Curtis, a trained mental health first aider, said: “A lot of people have had a lot more time to reflect on what is negative in their lives.”

She said this had left people feeling “lost and low”.

Lisa and her son have both experienced mental health problems, she described “not having any control over the situation”.

The council report, which will be debated at a meeting of Sheffield City Council’s Healthier Communities and Adult Social Care Scrutiny and Police Development Committee highlighted its solution over investment into support services over the next 18 months.

It also indicated that mental health treatment should be available when people recover from the virus.

However Lisa said what was important was increasing awareness of the issue.

She said: “There needs to be more easily accessible help and it needs to be more advertised as a lot of people don’t know or understand the help they can get.

“They may never be cured from depression but there are things that can help them learning to live with it.”

In a survey conducted by Flourish, a mental health charity from Sheffield, 54.5% of people said that their mental health had “got worse” during the pandemic. A further 6.1% said that their mental health had become “a lot worse” in the same period.

Emma Thomas, the Chief executive of Young Minds said: “The pandemic has had a devastating impact.

“Some told us that they are deeply anxious, have started self-harming again, are having panic attacks or are losing motivation and hope.”

The council report also said the pandemic’s effect on care workers had been serious.

It said: “Clinical staff and care workers have suffered the effects of burn-out, psychological distress and bereavement.”

Labour MP for Sheffield Hallam Olivia Betts said: “Already stretched frontline mental health services are being pushed to breaking point and are no longer able to provide treatment and support for the growing numbers seeking it.”

She also said that funding is the best solution as she described the need for “an emergency package of funding for mental health services”.

 

 

 

 

 

Written by Dylan Oakley

I am a trainee journalist at the University of Sheffield originally from Derby.

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