The UK is facing a protracted mental health crisis as Covid-19 brings a “perfect storm” of problems that can trigger suicide, depression, drug use and relationship break-up, a group of leading academics warn.
They warn that the pandemic could have a “profound and pervasive impact on global mental health now and in the future”, with children, adolescents and the elderly looking particularly at risk.
The academics also raise concerns that the virus itself could cause mental health problems as similar coronaviruses such as Sars and Mers have done – with the effects potentially being felt years down the line.
The experts say its difficult to predict how people’s anxieties will manifest themselves but the evidence of past epidemics – as well as the known effect of unemployment and other factors arising from coronavirus – are highly concerning.
Pressures on GPs in England and Wales are so great they feel they are failing patients and potentially providing unsafe care, doctors leaders say.
British Medical Association GP leader Dr Chaand Nagpaul said doctors were having to rush patients to keep up. and he said this could be potentially dangerous in terms of identifying cancer and getting medicines right. But ministers in England responded by promising they would invest in services to address the concerns.
The frank admission by Dr Nagpaul comes as the BMA releases the results of an online survey of nearly 2,900 practices in England and 145 in Wales – about one in three of the total in both nations. In England it showed that 55% thought the quality of the service their practices was providing had deteriorated in the past 12 months. Some 68% said their workload was unmanageable, while 92% reported demand had increased in the past year. Similar findings were reported in Wales.
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Depression in men is as deadly as obesity and heart disease, according to new research.
Scientists from Helmholtz Zentrum München, the Technical University of Munich and the German Centre for Cardiovascular Disease found that around 15% of deaths related to cardiovascular disease were caused by mental illness.
Alarmingly, men who suffer from depression were nearly just as likely to develop heart problems as if they were suffering from high cholesterol.
And only those with high blood pressure and smokers are at a greater risk, according to the report, which was published in science journal Atherosclerosis. Researcher Professor Karl-Heinz Ladwig said: “Our investigation shows that the risk of a fatal cardiovascular disease due to depression is almost as great as that due to elevated cholesterol levels or obesity.”
The research team tested 3,428 male patients between the ages of 45 and 74, observing their development over a decade.
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