Mental health funding urgently needed as UK suicides increase

Mental health funding urgently needed as UK suicides increase

A mental health charity is calling on the UK Government to back more funding for mental health charities helping UK workers as depression and suicide rates rise across the country due to COVID-19.

As the United Kingdom faces a second lockdown, Mental health charity, Mates in Mind, is calling for more funding for mental health charities who are supporting UK workers and have already seen a significant increase in demand over the past six months.

Crisis in UK workers

A recent report by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed rates of depression have doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic, with almost one in five adults (19.2%) experiencing some form of depression during June – up from around one in 10 (9.7%) last year.

London Ambulance also recently shared information that the number of suicide and attempted suicide incidents are increasing, with crews now attending an average of 37 suicides or attempted suicides per day, compared to 22 in 2019 and 17 five years ago.

James Rudoni, Managing Director of Mates in Mind said: “This pandemic, and the subsequent lockdowns, has brought disruption to our way of life and to business on a scale previously unknown in peacetime, fear for our physical and mental wellbeing and the health of those around us, grief for those who have lost loved ones, and economic uncertainty for many.

“Unfortunately, alongside the COVID-19 pandemic, there is likely to be a ‘mental health pandemic’ that, if left unaddressed will have a long-term mental health impact will be much more far-reaching and difficult to recover from. We are working with workplaces across the UK to immediately review their workplace’s mental health plans, ensure they have pro-active strategies in place to support their people, and that they know how, where, and when to access crisis support.

“With this second lockdown coming at a time when the days are getting shorter, colder, and darker, the toll on workplace mental health is expected to worsen. While the Government’s “winter plan” for mental health and wellbeing is a welcome initiative, people need support now. Smaller charities supporting workplace mental health and wellbeing are expecting to see the increase in demand continue as the second lockdown progresses, with isolation and uncertainty compounding an already complex year.

“It is crucial that organisations provide extra mental health support for their teams during this time and keep lines of communication open. Being able to spot the signs that someone might be struggling and having the skills to open up a conversation about mental health, is an invaluable skill which managers can develop, which is why Mates in Mind offer a number of online training courses and e-learning options to support these vital conversations.”

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