As we prepare for a New Year’s Eve unlike any other, some of us are turning our attention to New Year’s resolutions while others are simply hanging on, hoping and waiting for a brighter 2021. The difficulties faced by people this year could lead to the biggest hit to mental health since the Second World War, according to Dr. Adrian James who is the president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
The ramifications of a year of isolation, economic and job stress and the death of loved ones have been well documented. Recent studies of people who have lost loved ones this year from Covid have shown that the grieving process is more intense.
Mental health charity Mind has called the festive season a ‘mental health emergency’, saying that more people than ever before have reached out to them for support and advice. Mind recorded a 15% increase in urgent referrals for people suffering from mental health crises between March and July 2020, and demand for services has increased sharply since then.
The Centre for Mental Health released a report in October suggesting that over 10 million people in the UK could experience negative mental health impacts as a result of the pandemic. According to the research, roughly 8.5 million adults and 1.5 million children are likely to access support for depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorders and other mental health difficulties in the coming months and years.
Speaking to Sky, Centre for Mental Health chief economist Nick O’Shea said “The challenge of meeting the mental health needs arising out of the pandemic may be as great as the many difficulties of responding to the virus… Unresolved mental health needs can escalate to crisis point without effective early help. We cannot afford to wait and see or to leave it until after the pandemic has subsided.”
Talking therapies have been proven to help treat anxieties, stress and depression. The NHS provides a range of talking therapies, however they are currently struggling with demand and there can be long wait times and overly proscriptive conditions attached to accessing services.
Early intervention is essential to achieve the best possible outcome, before mental health struggles become entrenched patterns of behaviour. The National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) writes that “hypnotherapy is a fast-acting listening and talking therapy that combines a variety of tools tailored to the client’s personality and needs to achieve a desired specific outcome.” The NCH believes that it’s important reduce anxiety in one’s life as research shows that prolonged exposure to the ‘stress hormone’ cortisol can cause memory problems, a weakened immune system and many other negative health outcomes.
Click here to access the NCH directory, with nearly 2,000 therapists all around the UK there’s sure to be someone to help close to you. Start 2021 off right.