Culture

‘Mental health in an unequal world’

Today, October 10th is World Mental Health Day. This year the focus is on ‘Mental health in an unequal world’.

The Coronavirus: Mental Health in the Pandemic study by Mental Health UK provides unique insights into the mental health effects of the pandemic since mid-March, with five waves of data collected so far across the UK specifically focussed on mental health and wellbeing. 

It “shows a divergence in people’s experience depending on their social and/or economic context in society. As has been said: we are all in the same storm, but we are not all in the same boat.”

The pandemic seems to have widened mental health inequalities, with the groups that had the poorest mental health pre-crisis also having had the largest deterioration in mental health during lockdown.

Coronavirus: Mental Health in the Pandemic

SAMH is Scotland’s Mental Health charity. It can provide help and support. It states: “Too many promises and a pandemic later, people are still being left behind. Rejected referrals, indeterminate waiting times and inadequate support. “

Click on the link to the website to find out their new 2021-24 strategy.

Adding his support for World Mental Health Day, Liam McArthur, LibDem MSP for the Orkney Constituency said:

“On World Mental Health Day, I want to reinforce the message that nobody should have to face a mental health problem alone.

“I also want to take the opportunity of paying tribute to the many local and national organisations that provide invaluable support to those who need it.

“Of course, the pandemic has had a serious impact on the mental health of many people in Orkney and across the country over the past eighteen months. However, services were already under extreme pressure even before Covid.

“Despite welcome recent investment, more still needs to be done if we are to have genuine parity in the treatment of mental and physical health. On World Mental Health Day, we need to see a renewed commitment by government to ensure services are available wherever and whenever they are needed.

“Ultimately, there can be no good health without good mental health.”

The Scottish Government has published For a fairer future . Part of that is a commitment to provide £15 million to local authorities in 2021-22 to deliver locally-based mental health and wellbeing support for children and young people aged 5 – 24. It also aims to develop a Student Mental Health Action Plan and deliver an additional 80 counsellors in universities and colleges in the next two years, backed by £4.2 million this year.

Fiona Grahame

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