by Jake Hawkes, University College London
During the first month of lockdown nearly a fifth of people reported having thoughts of self-harm or #suicide, but only 42% of those thinking about self-harming or #suicide and 57% of people who self-harmed had accessed #mentalhealthservices.
Welcome to the “next chapter” of my life… being a voice and an advocate for #mentalhealthawarenessandsuicideprevention, especially pertaining to our younger generation of students and student-athletes.
Getting men to speak up and reach out for help and assistance is one of my passions. Us men need to not suffer in silence or drown our sorrows in alcohol, hang out at bars and strip joints, or get involved with drug use.
Having gone through a recent bout of #depression and #suicidalthoughts myself, I realize now, that I can make a huge difference in the lives of so many by sharing my story, and by sharing various resources I come across as I work in this space. #http://bit.ly/JamesMentalHealthArticle
This is according to a new analysis of the UCL #Covid-19 Social Study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.
The researchers found that from 21 March to 20 April, 8,000 out of 44,000 people reported thoughts of self-harm or #suicide, and 5% of those (2,174 people) deliberately harmed themselves at least once since the start of the UK’s lockdown.
Overall, 9% (4,121) experienced psychological or physical abuse. Around half of those respondents had thoughts of #suicide or self-harm, while a quarter had engaged in self-harm behaviors during the past week.
Lead author, Dr Daisy Fancourt (UCL Epidemiology & Health Care) said: “It is crucial that we understand how people are being affected by the #COVID-19 #pandemic, and in particular who is most at risk for adverse experiences. The #COVID-19 Social Study is highlighting that substantial numbers of people have been experiencing serious #mentalhealth difficulties during lockdown without access to vital support.”
The Royal College of Psychiatrists has warned of an increase in #mentalhealth referrals as a result of the lockdown. Psychiatrists were concerned about patients staying away from #mentalhealthservices up until reaching a crisis point during the lockdown.
Dr Adrian James, president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “The #pandemic has had a serious negative impact on #mentalhealth. We are concerned by the number of people who were not able to get support during lockdown. This could lead to a deterioration in people’s #mentalhealth and an increase in demand for services. To meet this anticipated demand we need to see urgent action from the government to deliver significant and sustained investment. Without it, services will struggle to cope and we will continue to see many people with #mentalillness unable to access the help they need.”
The researchers analyzed data from the UCL #COVID-19 Social Study on the psychological and social experiences of adults in the UK during the #COVID-19 #pandemic. Participants in the study completed online questionnaires on a weekly basis. The 44,000 people who filled in the questionnaire might not be representative of the overall population, as although it was weighted to population proportions, participants were not recruited randomly. Recruitment involved partnership work with charities representing vulnerable people who may have therefore been more likely to report self-harm or abuse.