A group of NHS leaders said that doctors have noticed an increase in the number of people reporting serious mental health difficulties.
During the peak of the pandemic, the number of referrals to mental health services fell by more than 30%.
But forecasts suggest that the recent rise will mean that demand actually exceeds the level before the coronavirus-possibly as high as 20%.
The NHS Federation stated that those in need should come forward.
But the organization, which represents health care leaders, said in a report that spiritual services need “strong support and investment”
Sean Duggan, head of mental health at the NHS Coalition, said that when coronavirus cases reach their highest levels, people stay away from services, just as they stay away from other parts of the NHS.
He said: “The number of A&E has dropped, and the number of GPs has dropped. The same happened in some of our mental health services.” When people try to reduce the burden on health services and try to avoid contracting the virus, he said.
“The problem is, if you leave a question, it will get worse.”
This may explain the imminent circumstances of some more serious cases.
The report said that in addition to those whose illnesses deteriorated during the lockdown, NHS services also expect that the pandemic itself will directly lead to an increase in the demand for mental health services.
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It flags isolation, drug use, domestic violence and economic uncertainty as factors that may lead to the need for additional support.
The report also said that “it is particularly worrying that the serious inequality in access to services and recovery rates faced by black and minority communities will increase”.
Mental health providers report that in addition to seeing patients with “more important needs,” they also have a higher percentage of referrals, which are the first patients to receive services.
At the same time, providers predict that infection control and social distancing measures will mean that their infection capacity is 10-30% lower than normal.
Mr. Dugan said that he did not want to “medicate everything…it is completely normal to feel uneasy and anxious” in such an uncertain time.
But he added that despite this, the number of people in need of mental health services has “really” increased.
The NHS England last week issued the next phase of its response to Covid-19 and acknowledged that “mental health needs may increase significantly.”
Its plan includes expanding and improving access to psychotherapy (IAPT) services, which are the most common ways to treat mild to moderate illnesses that people can introduce themselves.
It also said that people under care by community mental health teams (usually those with greater needs) should review their care. The report says that people with severe mental illness deserve more treatment and support.
The NHS England also points out the mental health and welfare services provided to all medical staff.