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Mental Illness and Suicide: The Danger of a Second Pandemic in 2021

Mental health issues on the rise in 2021.

Mental Health Issues are on the Rise in 2021

I was drinking to ease the pain of being alone, and feeling so isolated from help during lockdown. There was nothing else to do, and before long, I was drinking in the mornings, and retreating into myself rather than reaching out to others. – Rachelle

There is no question that when the coronavirus pandemic hit in early 2020, our lives completely changed.

Every single aspect of our familiar and normal life was turned on its head – we have to stay home, work from home, stay away from our loved ones and close family members.

Our personal, professional and social routines were completely upturned.

Every person has experienced and reacted to lockdown and this new pandemic world in a different way.

However, while we all have to stay at home to protect ourselves from one pandemic, the risk of a mental health pandemic began and continues to rise.

Almost 70% of adults in the UK have reported that they feel worried or scared about the impact that COVID-19 is having on their lives. (Office for National Statistics UK)

If you are struggling, or unsure whether treatment centres remain open during the pandemic, call us today on 0808 1150 446.

Mental health and addiction is rising rapidly

 Study results and data collected by drug experts is shocking.

23% of the UK population either began taking or increased their intake of substances such as prescription drugs, alcohol and illegal drugs as a result of the pandemic and lockdown restrictions.

Read the full report here.

Many are bored or feeling isolated, so they are turning to drink, drugs or tobacco for something to do, as well as a means of combatting symptoms of their pre-existing health conditions.

Read more about the dangers of self-medicating with substances here.

Addiction is on the rise too, not only as a result of those with mental health problems relying on substances, but due to job insecurity, social isolation and the loss of control over the situation we find ourselves in.

What is dual-diagnosis?

‘Over the years, we have seen the number of drug related deaths rise and the last thing we want is for more people to be unnecessarily reliant on these stimulants in the long term.

We need to increase education, encourage dialogue, and support addiction and recovery services, especially evidence-based services that could mean the difference between life and death for those who struggle with substance use.’ (Jan Brown, CEO of Global Recovery Initiatives Foundation)

Why has the pandemic resulted in a mental health and addiction surge?

There are a number of reasons why mental health problems are becoming more prevalent as a result of the pandemic.

While each individual experiences the pandemic differently, there are some common factors that have been seen to contribute to the rise in mental health cases.

1.Coping Mechanisms

The pandemic has restricted our access too many of the facilities and activities that people use to cope with and combat stress.

  • Many have lost their jobs or have been furloughed
  • People have not been able to meet with friends and family
  • Access to outdoor spaces and gym facilities have been restricted

2. Limited access to mental health services

The Royal College of Psychiatrists reports that almost half of psychiatrists across the UK have seen a large increase in urgent mental health cases.

The pressure on medical services as well as social restrictions has caused many medical professionals to fear that knew and regular patients are resisting therapy or treatment until they reach a breaking point.

This will result in a significant increase in untreated mental health problems.

Suicides are on the rise too

Not only are mental health issues rising, but the Royal College of psychiatrists has also expressed concern regarding the ever-increasing rate of suicide in the UK.

 “Generally, higher rates of suicide among middle-aged men in recent years might be because this group is more likely to be affected by economic adversity, alcoholism, and isolation. It could also be that this group is less inclined to seek help.” (Office for National Statistics)

Without feeling that they can access the help they need, many suffering from mental health issues and suicidal thoughts are at risk.

Read the full report on the increasing suicides.

Rehabs remain open during the pandemic

If you or someone you love needs help and treatment for their mental health and addiction, rehab hospitals remain open during the pandemic and continue to receive new admissions.

Top 10 facts about rehab in the UK.

Social distancing measures aw strictly adhered to at these treatment facilities, ensuring the safest possible route to recovery.

To speak to an addiction specialist, or to discuss your treatment options, call us today on 0808 1150 446.

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About the Author

  • Alison is an experienced addiction treatment specialist with over 25 years of experience. She is very knowledgeable about what help is available both privately and within the NHS.

    She is passionate about helping others to beat their demons and to live a long healthy sober life. Alison is a proud member of Alcoholics Anonymous and is happy to waive her right to anonymity to help users of this website.

    Alison is a very active and important member of our team at ERG. To talk to Alison please see livechat (bottom right).