We’re supporting calls for more research to be carried out into the mental health impact of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as campaigning to ensure counselling and psychotherapy plays a key role in the mental health response.
The calls were made by a group of leading academics, writing in The Lancet Psychiatry, who warned the pandemic could have a “profound impact” on the population’s mental health “now and in the future.”
They’ve described the virus as bringing a “perfect storm” of problems that could lead to an increase in the rates of mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, self-harm, suicide, drug use and relationship difficulties. They say children, adolescents and the elderly are particularly at risk.
The academics say policies used to manage the pandemic could impact mental health because of increases in unemployment, financial uncertainty and poverty. This echoes the points we made in our recent open letter to Governments across the UK.
We completely agree that more research is urgently required into the impact of Covid-19 on people’s mental health.
Understand the impact
Our Head of Research Dr Clare Symons said: “It’s vital we fully understand the impact coronavirus has on mental health now and in the future so that appropriate support is offered to people affected.
“We know our members are already playing an important role in responding to this crisis and supporting vulnerable people.
"Conducting research to evaluate the effectiveness of counselling and psychotherapy is always something that we promote.
"The Covid-19 “perfect storm” that the researchers mention presents unique challenges for people’s mental health. As such, it’s vital we push for robust research to be conducted that can evaluate the effectiveness of counselling and psychotherapy for addressing the specific problems that people might be experiencing, and might continue to experience, as a result of this crisis.”
Impacted our members and clients
“We’ve already launched a survey to understand more about how the pandemic has impacted our members and their clients.
"We also have an ongoing project that involves the use of an online system to support practitioners in monitoring their clients’ mental health and therapeutic progress. Given the emphasis of the call on the importance of monitoring mental health, this project has the potential to be particularly important during and after this crisis.”
“We’re also actively discussing with researchers and our academic contacts to explore how we might collaborate on other research projects to better understand the impact of this pandemic on mental health.
“We’ll continue to do everything we can to ensure that counselling and psychotherapy is at the forefront of the mental health response to coronavirus, through our research, lobbying and working with our members on the frontline.”
More than 9,000 people have now signed our petition calling on the Government to maximise the role of counselling and psychotherapy in the mental health response to coronavirus.
Guidance and resources for members
Tackling the mental health consequences of coronavirus
Back our COVID-19 campaign to reaffirm the critical role that counselling and psychotherapy needs to play in supporting the nation through the coronavirus crisis and in helping to repair it afterwards.
Important recognition of NHS staff’s mental health and wellbeing during coronavirus crisis
Read our response to NHS England’s announcement about support for staff