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Mental health toll of lockdown shown as services received record 4.3 MILLION referrals in 2021


Mental health toll of lockdown laid bare: Figures show services received record 4.3MILLION referrals in 2021 – as Royal College of Psychiatrists blasts pandemic as the ‘biggest hit’ to mental wellbeing in generations

  • The pandemic has been blamed for the hike in referrals received last year 
  • Experts warned warned pressure on the health service is ‘ratcheting up’
  • The NHS delivered 1.8million mental health consultations in December 2021 alone

Mental health services received a record 4.3million referrals in 2021 as the pandemic took its toll on our wellbeing, figures show.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists, which analysed NHS data, said England has suffered the ‘biggest hit to its mental health in generations’.

It warned pressure on the health service is ‘ratcheting up’ and called for urgent government action to tackle the ‘crisis that is engulfing the country’.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists, which analysed NHS data, said England has suffered the ‘biggest hit to its mental health in generations’

The Royal College of Psychiatrists, which analysed NHS data, said England has suffered the ‘biggest hit to its mental health in generations’

Failing to have a fully funded plan will leave ‘many thousands’ waiting ‘far too long’ for help, the college added.

The NHS Digital data reveals there were 3.3million referrals to specialist adult mental health services plus 1.03million referrals of under-18s last year. This is up from a pre-pandemic total of 3.7million in 2019. Some patients may have had multiple referrals for different services.

The NHS delivered 1.8million mental health consultations in December 2021 alone but there are still 1.4million people waiting for treatment.

The Department for Health said an extra £2.3billion a year is being put into mental health services by 2023/24 on top of £500million to deal with the impact of the pandemic.

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