Mental health “worse” in North post-pandemic, says report

Mental health in the north has been harder hit by the pandemic than elsewhere in England, according to a new report.

Experts have estimated the mental health crisis in the North has cost the UK economy £2billion on top of losses caused by Covid-19.

A report from the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA) said the findings are further evidence that the pandemic has had an uneven impact in different regions.

His research found:

– People under the age of 35 in the North were more likely to develop a psychiatric disorder over the course of the pandemic, a 2.5% increase compared to a 1.3% decrease in the rest of England;

– Antidepressant prescriptions up 12% in the North during the pandemic;

Clare Bambra, Professor of Public Health at Newcastle University, is co-author of the report (Handout/PA)

– Women from ethnic minorities in the north had the worst mental health in the country. Their mental health scores fell 10% at the start of the pandemic and were 4% lower throughout the pandemic;

– Mental health declined equally in the north and the rest of the country during the pandemic (5% decrease), but recovered faster in the rest of the country (to a 1.3% decrease) than in the north (2% decrease) ).

The report’s co-author Clare Bambra, Professor of Public Health at Newcastle University, said: “These results reinforce that the pandemic has been very uneven.

“People in our most vulnerable communities have suffered the most in terms of death rates, dying younger and in ongoing illness like long Covid.

“These health inequalities reflect long-term inequalities in the social determinants of health, how we live, work and age.”

A government spokesman said: “We recognize that the pandemic has had a significant impact on people’s mental health and we are working to ensure appropriate services are in place to treat those who need it.

“We are transforming mental health services which will receive over £2.3billion in additional funding annually through 2024 – giving a further two million people across England access to services.

“Our mental health recovery plan included a £15million funding in 2021/22 to improve mental health and well-being across the country – including Northern England – by investing in activities to promote positive mental health in the most vulnerable disadvantaged areas of the municipalities .”

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