Yesterday, 22nd of October, saw a debate on Covid-19 in the House of Commons, in which Members of Parliament discussed the current and ongoing situation.
Dr Rosena Allin-Khan, Shadow Minister for Mental Health, had this to say:
A harsh winter without respite will hit the nation’s mental health and it will hit it hard. I have heard from the Samaritans that many, many more young people are struggling. Self-harm among women has increased. Older people are isolated. University College London reported that after a month of lockdown, nearly a fifth of people had thoughts of self-harm and/or suicide. The charity Rethink says that 79% of people with an existing mental health condition have experienced it getting worse. Mind found that a quarter of people trying to access mental health services were simply unable to do so. Mental health services, especially child and adolescent mental health services, were stretched to the limit before covid. Now they are being pushed over the edge. I hear every day from teachers in schools and desperate parents crying out for help from CAMHS, but who are unable to get on the waiting list and unable to get help. A new report out today highlights that one in six children have been identified as having probable mental health illness, increasing from one in nine in 2017. One in six children—that is staggering.
Thank you to Rosena for bringing this incredibly distressing but vital information to the debate. It's important that we understand the severity of the situation, and also realise that there is a currently untapped resource that could support those mentioned in the debate.
The NCS believe that is it vital that the Government use the Accredited Registers; the qualified, professional, experienced workforce that is here, ready to help support those who need it with no additional hoops to jump through.
As we've seen with other projects set up to support the country through Covid-19, the capacity and ability to roll something like this out is there.
We therefore call upon the Government to utilise the Accredited Registers, and urge all those involved in mental health provision in the UK to ensure that this urgent need is met.