Coronavirus: Lockdown could lead to 'layered' mental health issues

People who did not access mental health support during lockdown could now be overwhelmed by "layered" issues, a consultant psychiatrist has warned.

Dr Bob Colgate, of Bridgend's Princess of Wales Hospital, said demand "changed abruptly" with fewer seeking help while also facing isolation and stress.

Mental health charity Hafal has called for a clear plan for health boards.

Welsh Government said it had provided "clear information" on sustaining services during the pandemic.

Concerns among health care professionals include people not coming forward for help as they usually would have.

The number of referrals and people asking for assistance dropped hugely, said Dr Colgate.
Our concern is that people with mental health concerns are not presenting. They are not coming to hospital, which is understandable, [but] they are also not accessing their GP.
He said there were now concerns about an increase in patients who would have been seen three or four months ago under normal conditions.

Some of those patients will potentially be more unwell or more complex than they otherwise would have been, he said.
There are a lot of issues now, such as anxiety, depression associated with loneliness or isolation, or concerns about jobs and finances. All these things could be layered on top of the normal problems."

At the height of the pandemic, a health board in north Wales wrongly discharged almost 1,700 patients from mental health support services.

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