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Depression in British adults doubles during pandemic, new data shows

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The number of adults experiencing depression has almost doubled during the pandemic, according to new figures.

Data from the Office for National Statistics showed that almost one in five adults (19.2 per cent) were likely to be experiencing some form of depression in June. This had risen from around one in 10 (9.7%) between July 2019 and March 2020, before the imposition of the nationwide lockdown.

Dame Til Wykes, a professor of clinical psychology and rehabilitation at King’s College London, warned of a looming “mental health crisis” once the pandemic passes.

“This study tells us, yet again, that we might have a mental health crisis after this pandemic. The social effects of distancing and isolation for some affects their emotional wellbeing.

Dr Billy Boland, chairman of the General Adult Faculty at the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said the UK’s mental health services would be faced with a “tsunami of referrals” in the coming months.

“Isolation, bereavement and financial insecurity are some of the reasons why the nation’s mental health has deteriorated since the start of the pandemic.

“The government must speed up the investment to mental health services if we are to treat the growing numbers of people living with depression and other mental illnesses.”

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Source: The Independent, 18 August 2020

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