Cases of psychosis have risen significantly in England during the pandemic, according to new NHS data.
The number of people referred to mental health services for their first suspected episode of psychosis increased by 75% between April 2019 and April 2021, figures showed.
The data, which has been analysed by the charity Rethink Mental Illness, showed that much of the increase in referrals has happened over the last year, after the first national lockdown.
The charity, Rethink Mental Illness, said that the data offers some of the first concrete evidence of the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of the population.
It is calling on the government to invest more in early intervention for psychosis to halt the further deterioration in people’s conditions.
The NHS defines psychosis as “when people lose some contact with reality”. This could involve seeing or hearing things that other people cannot see or believing things that are not actually true.
People experiencing symptoms of psychosis need to seek medical help very quickly and charity Rethink Mental Illness is campaigning to get people faster access to vital treatment.
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Source: The Independent, 18 October 2021