The World Health Organisation recognises World Mental Health Day on the 10th October every year. This year’s theme, set by the World Federation For Mental Health (WFMH), is ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’
The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted inequalities due to race, sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as further widening the wealth gap. Such inequalities have had a huge impact on people’s mental health. According to the WFMH, between 75% to 95% of people with mental disorders in low-and middle-income countries are unable to access mental health services at all, and access in high income countries is not much better. The ‘Mental Health in an Unequal World’ campaign is calling on people to come together to ensure everyone is able to enjoy good mental health.
We have selected three digital magazine issues from the archives of our publishing partners that address the global strain the COVID19 pandemic has caused on mental health and how we can work together to support each other.
In addition to the tragic loss of many lives, the Covid-19 pandemic has globally impacted the economy and mental health. Mental health charity, Mind, has warned of a ‘second pandemic’ after it revealed more people are suffering from mental health issues than ever recorded.
Lockdown restrictions significantly changed both our personal and professional lives, although the virus itself will eventually be contained, the repercussions may last for decades.
“Eighty-four percent of UK adults say they were worried, leading to nearly half of adults reporting high levels of anxiety and more than 50% reporting an effect on their wellbeing”
Read the article, pages 62–63, here.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a strikingly different impact on the poorest communities in the UK. Those from BAME communities, delivering frontline services, and living in overcrowded housing were all found to be at a higher-risk of contracting and dying from the virus.
Vivian Hill, a Consultant Educational Psychologist and Director of Educational Psychology training at University College London’s Institute of Education, reported on the impact digital poverty had on the mental health of children and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
“There has been increasing alarm about children and young people’s mental health and well-being in the pre-pandemic world. This is only predicted to escalate in the post COVID-19 context.”
Read the article, pages 74–77, here.
Some may argue that mental health first aid should not be needed in the UK. Sadly the reality is the NHS, underfunded and overwhelmed by soaring demand, is struggling to provide mental health care for those who need it.
A programme of courses run by Mental Health First Aid (MHFA), trains people to recognise the first signs of mental illness in workplaces, schools, universities and the armed forces. Their mission is to dismantle the stigma surrounding mental health, and get more people access to support.
“There’s still a huge stigma around mental health issues across schools and universities, with far too many people suffering in silence.”
Read the article, pages 70–71, here.
Access to the digital magazine issues included in this post will be active until the 10th of December 2021.