A surge in demand for anxiety, depression and post traumatic stress disorder mental health services can be expected with the Covid-19 pandemic, TDs have been warned.
In a submission to the Covid-19 Committee, advocacy group Mental Health Ireland also said that the virus has “had an extraordinary impact on the mental health and quality of life of the Irish people”.
Underfunding in mental health services, regional imbalances and new conditions emerging were all discussed during the committee hearing this morning.
CEO of Mental Health Ireland Martin Rogan told TDs how the United Nations had warned about a spike in demand for services in the wake of the pandemic.
“Many of these needs can be and are best met within an informal community context, but a surge in demand for anxiety, depression and PTSD services can be anticipated,” his submission said.
Access to GP and Community Mental Health Teams was adapted during the early parts of the pandemic and this has “greatly disrupted the mental health services for people availing of community-based services,” it was added.
The deaths of loved ones and the emergence of previously unknown conditions had compounded situations for mental health problems.
“Many families lost loved ones and their bereavement was further complicated by public health limitations on funeral arrangements.
“Previously unrecognised mental health needs were uncloaked and highlighted by Covid and many have now manifested as new referrals seeking treatment. The dislocation associated with Covid has had a magnifying effect on difficulties extant in many households and these came into sharp focus when the entire household was stressed and pressed into close proximity,” added Mr Rogan.