Government announces multi-billion-pound NHS investment to help battle post-Covid mental health crisis

More than £7 billion will be invested into the National Health Service (NHS) to help overcome the mental health impact of the coronavirus pandemic, it has been announced.

According to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), the cash will help mentally unwell people access essential support and, if necessary, leave inpatient mental health care safely.

The funding comes after research revealed that self-isolation has significantly increased the risk of mental illness, while one in eight people who test positive for Covid-19 are diagnosed with a mental illness for the first time within six months.

Commenting on the investment, Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We’ve backed the NHS at every point in this pandemic, so they can treat patients, stay safe and save lives.”

Through the inpatient mental health care discharge scheme, people well enough to leave hospital will be provided additional support to help them recover in the community and cope with things such as daily routines, tenancy, finances, personal care, or employment.

The funding will also be used to provide mental health and occupational health support to frontline health workers – such as nurses, paramedics, therapists, and pharmacists – who have felt the full brunt of the pandemic.

On top of these measures, some £341 million will be delivered to adult social care services to ensure the safety of staff and residents in day care, respite care, care homes and other community care settings – enabling Covid-safe visits when restrictions are lifted.

The latest figures suggest that around one in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year, with the most common illnesses being anxiety and depression.

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