The charity spoke to more than 675 people about the toll that coronavirus is taking on their mental health. Less than a quarter of people who tried to access mental health support in the past fortnight had failed to get any help – facing cancelled appointments, difficulty getting through to their GP or Community Mental Health Team, being turned away by crisis services and issues accessing digital alternatives.
The figures come as global mental health experts warned that governments must take immediate action to increase mental health support. Evidence shows that when people do not get this support early enough, they are more likely to reach crisis point and need emergency help.
"My mental health has got worse because there is no help anywhere. I went to A&E suicidal and was told that there was nothing they could do. I contacted the crisis team and they said the same."
"I'm starting to suffer being alone, I've had less contact with my support team and no contact with my GP."
"I'm unable to find a safe and private space to have a phone conversation."
"My GP referred me to mental health team in February. Still waiting for an appointment."
Mind Cymru found that almost half of those who didn't seek help for their mental health were worried their problems weren't important enough given the wider crisis, with others saying it was unclear whether it was safe or responsible to attend a face to face appointment.
Many are relying on organisations like Mind Cymru to get the help they urgently need. Mind's services have seen unprecedented demand, with more than a million people accessing its online information on coronavirus and mental health, and a surge in the number of people seeking support through its online community since the crisis began.
"As a nation, a significant number of us have seen our mental health deteriorate during the coronavirus crisis. It is therefore deeply concerning that people are struggling to get the help that they urgently need. Evidence shows that when people do not get support early enough, they end up in crisis.
"People with mental health problems have been hit hard by the current situation. The coronavirus pandemic must be treated as both a physical and mental health emergency. Our survey found a number of people with mental health problems are having appointments cancelled or aren't able to access mental health support. More worryingly, people are telling us that they are not asking for help even though they need it and that their mental health is getting worse. This is often either because they are concerned about contracting Covid19 or that they feel that what they are experiencing is not 'significant or worthy enough' of help. They don't want to be a 'burden'.
"It has never been more important that people are encouraged to access mental healthcare that is timely, appropriate and available at the point of need. If not, we are storing up more complex problems for the future. There needs to be clear and readily available information from Health Boards about what services are available and how to access them. It should be clear that if anyone needs help with their mental health, they should ask for it and get it in a timely and straightforward way.
"A key part of the plan for coming out of this pandemic is making sure that we have support in place for those who have been struggling with their mental health during lockdown and on the front line that they can get hold of quickly and effectively.
"We hope very much that Welsh Government and NHS Wales now make it clear that mental health support is open for business and that resources are available when and where they are needed. Mind Cymru and the Local Minds in Wales will also strive to support people through our own services as best we can. The coronavirus pandemic is not just a physical health emergency. People with mental health problems must not be forgotten."
We need your help to support people with mental health problems right now. To donate to Mind's emergency appeal, visit www.mind.org.uk/donate
Notes to Editors:
About Mind Cymru
Mental health services