Frontline Staff Reports
The charity Buttle UK released findings from a survey of frontline children’s support workers; they indicated that children’s mental health needs are widespread and growing since the pandemic began. Nursing Times reported findings from a University College London study of the mental health of nurses and other health workers during the pandemic. Researchers highlighted barriers to workers’ accessing support as well as “striking inconsistencies” in the support available. In another article, they reported on the strong links between deprivation and poor mental and physical health: “social inequalities are a predictor of poor mental and social outcomes, and years of life lived in disability. The wider the gap between the richest and the poorest in society, the worse the mental and physical health of both groups.”
Calls for More Resources to Meet Need
The president of the UK’s Royal College of Psychiatrists called for urgent mental health funding to help the 1.6 million people currently waiting for mental health treatment. Guardian reporting on NHS waiting lists for routine medical treatments in England indicated that the lists have increased by 50% in the most deprived areas, compared to around 35% in the most well-off areas.
Following worrying results of a survey of young people’s mental health, the charity Mind called for the establishment of mental health walk-in centres where young people could access support without a referral. A study by the BBC found that one fifth of children seeking mental health care over the last year waited more than 12 weeks to be seen by a specialist; the average wait was over two months.
NI’s Department of Health has awarded £8.7m in Mental Health Support Funds, out of the total allocation of £10m, to 30 projects run by charitable and voluntary organisations.