Centre for Mental Health: Covid-19 and the nation’s mental health: Forecasting needs and risks in the UK

Author Helen Mthiyane
Posted 2020.05.26

Covid-19 and the nation’s mental health: Forecasting needs and risks in the UK is the Centre for Mental Health's first assessment of the likely impacts of Covid-19 on mental health in Britain. It uses evidence from previous epidemics internationally and from the aftermath of the 2008 banking crisis to estimate what effect Covid-19 will have on mental health at population level in the UK.

The report is the first of a series of forecasts about the mental health impacts of the virus and will be updated as more evidence comes to light and the situation develops.

The Centre makes four recommendations for actions that are needed now to protect the nation’s mental health at this stage of the crisis:

  1. The Government should ensure that it continues to provide a financial safety net for people whose livelihoods are affected by the pandemic to prevent further financial insecurity and the serious effects this has on people’s mental health.
  2. The Government and Public Health England should provide advice and support to organisations, including schools, health and care services and businesses, in trauma-informed approaches to help them to create a sense of psychological safety for people who use and work in them following the lockdown.
  3. The NHS should develop a proactive and tailored offer of mental health support to people who have received hospital treatment for Covid-19, to people who are working in health and care services with people with Covid-19, and to people who have experienced a bereavement during this time, whether from the virus or other causes.
  4. The NHS should prepare for both a V-shaped and a W-shaped recession during the next five years, with resources (financial and human) to respond either to a single, deep recession this year or to a series of economic shocks each of which will create additional need for mental health support.

Download the report on the Centre for Mental Health's website