“We are facing the greatest test of our mental health this year. Just last week, Mind saw the largest increase in calls to our Infoline.
“There is an urgent need for a Winter Mental Health Support Package now from the Government. This must include access to face to face and online mental health services for those who need it. And this time round we need to pay particular attention to people with serious mental health problems at risk of imminent crisis, as well as the wider challenges of the pandemic on the general public’s mental health.
“Far too many people aren’t getting the support they need, resulting in increased strain on the NHS and more people ending up in crisis. The Government has to learn from mistakes in the first wave, making sure people can get help early on. During the first wave we saw mental health bed capacity being sacrificed to ease pressure on other parts of the system, but this cannot happen again; demand for these beds is increasing and will only continue to do so as we head into winter.
“Our healthcare staff are working tirelessly, but may be struggling with their mental health too. That’s why Mind, Samaritans, Shout and Hospice UK launched Our Frontline, round the clock 1-2-1 support for all key workers. Mental health charities are ready to support people in need, but these services too will require additional resourcing.
“As well as healthcare, we know wider issues of the pandemic, such as debt, housing and employment have had a huge impact on people’s mental health. We’re concerned many people will fall through the gaps during a second lockdown, to prevent this alternative support must be made available, such as keeping the increased rate of Universal Credit.
“Mind set out five key tests for UK Government for the Government’s coronavirus response, which include investing in community services and protecting those most at risk – including addressing racial inequalities and supporting children and young people.”
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