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Mental health patients leaving hospital in first lockdown felt lonely and isolated

Mental health patients who were discharged from or admitted to acute mental health services during the first Covid-19 lockdown experienced loneliness and social isolation, according to a new study. Published in the British Journal of Psychiatry Open the 34 patients, carers and clinical staff were interviewed by a team of researchers from The University of Manchester. 

Mental health service users also reported ‘working harder’ to avoid admission due to fears around environmental safety as a result of COVID-19.  “Even before the pandemic, there are lots of safety concerns associated with recent discharge from inpatient mental health services, for example suicide and self-harm,“ said lead author Dr Natasha Tyler, researcher at the GM PSTRC and The University of Manchester. Dr Tyler added: ‘Our patients and carers felt that because of the national need to free-up hospital beds, the quality of discharge and admission planning was compromised at times. “That meant discharging patients from hospitals who were not ready to cope in the community or not admitting patients who needed in-patient care. “The closure of most community support services meant patients had minimal opportunities for accessing care via alternative routes.  This worsened  their feelings of helplessness and loneliness.” 

Full article here
Source: Greater Manchester Patient Safety Translational Research Centre


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