Survey shows huge demand for increased mental health resources in response to COVID-19

Today, Mental Health Reform present research that demonstrates significant public demand for greater action from Government and its agencies to respond to the mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The research was the result of a collaboration between Mental Health Reform and the COVID-19 Psychological Research Consortium (C19PRC), a group of mental health researchers from universities in the United Kingdom and Ireland who are conducting projects to understand the mental health effects of the pandemic.

“The survey data presented today highlights the huge support that exists among the general public for a significant boost in resources for mental health services and supports across the country. 80% of people who took the survey agreed that charity and voluntary organisations require additional resources to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health. While less than a quarter of people agreed that the Government has done enough to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health.”, Fiona Coyle, CEO.

“We know that there has been a huge surge in demand for mental health services, which were already over-stretched before the pandemic. An urgent response from the Government is necessary if this demand is to be met. While we are encouraged to see mental health reflected in the proposed programme for Government, what is clear is that significant leadership and resources will be required in the next Government if the mental health services that the public expect are to be delivered. It is critical that we see an implementation group for our new mental health policy set up within the first month of Government, to ensure our services recover after COVID-19 and are capable of meeting increased demand.”, Fiona Coyle.

Dr. Phillip Hyland from the Department of Psychology at Maynooth University, who leads the Irish arm of the project, said “Our survey has revealed that, at minimum, one-third of people in the population are experiencing serious mental health difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic. Young adults and women more generally are exhibiting worryingly high levels of depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder. The mental health response to this public health crisis must take account of the fact that it is the youngest adults in society who are suffering the most with their mental health at this time. These findings align with international data that is now emerging and it demands significant attention from public health officials.”



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