The coronavirus pandemic has caused a mental heath emergency. As part of a major coalition of over 50 voluntary and social sector organisations, we're calling on the government to urgently establish a Mental Health Renewal plan in response to Covid-19. No one organisation, agency or government department can provide the solutions to the enormous challenge facing us. We must work together to put mental health truly at the heart of the new normal.
More than 16,000 of you told us how the pandemic has affected your mental health through our research. The findings are clear. Prioritising mental health has never been more critical. We're asking the government to meet our five tests to protect our nation's mental health now and in the future.
The coronavirus pandemic means mental health services have to develop new ways of working, including offering appointments remotely and via digital ways of communication. While this may allow continued access to mental health services, there are a number of significant issues with digital provision that must be addressed.
Following on from our work in 2017 on leaving hospital, this briefing explores the issues around early hospital discharge during the coronavirus pandemic and how the healthcare system should support people after leaving hospital. Our insights have been shaped by NHS data on discharge from inpatient care, the 2016 NICE hospital discharge guidance, our recent work surveying people’s mental health since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, and testimonies from individuals.
The coronavirus crisis is also a mental health crisis. As the second wave arrives, it is essential that we learn the lessons of the first wave of the epidemic and make sure people with severe mental health problems are adequately protected and supported in the coming months. As a critical part of its coronavirus response, the Government must deliver a ‘mental health winter support package’.