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Covid Inquiry doubles down on excluding mental health

Tuesday, 30 April 2024 Mind

In a ruling published last week, Baroness Hallett, chair of the UK’s Covid-19 Inquiry, rejected calls from Mind and 30 other organisations to look at the mental health impact of the pandemic not just on children, but adults too.

Instead, Module 3 of the Inquiry will only examine a very small part of mental health services via children’s inpatient care – omitting adult community and inpatient care, and CAMHS community services. It is now not clear where mental health will be properly considered.

Dr Sarah Hughes, CEO of Mind, said:

“The millions of people who suffered and who continue to suffer the mental health impacts of the pandemic will not have their voices heard.  

“We’ve come so far in recent years to put mental health on an equal footing with physical health, but that is not reflected in the Inquiry’s approach. Today’s decision means key questions will go unanswered, questions like: Why was there no public mental health plan? Why were the psychiatric hospitals emptied at the same time as community care was shut down? There are many more questions and stories to be told.  

“The scale of mental health problems during and after Covid-19 is profound. The numbers of people seeking but not getting the help they need sadly confirms what we all feared, a crisis that hasn’t eased in 2024. The reality of what happened must not be ignored and lessons must be learned. If we really believe mental and physical health should be considered equally then we must see a reversal of this decision. There is still time for the Inquiry to do the right thing.”

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