John Turner of the Lincolnshire Clinical Care Commissioning Group.

Group to be set up amid concerns over rise in mental health issues

A new group has been set up to work on the response of the “very significant consequences” of mental health issues due to the COVID-19 outbreak in Lincolnshire.

John Turner, the chairman of the Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group says there are huge concerns over mental health in the county due to lockdown, the number of people grieving and conerns overs the economy.

Answering a question on mental health by Coun Donald Nannestad, Mr Turner said a “cell” had been set up to be chaired by Brendan Hayes,the chief executive of the Lincolnshire Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust.

Mr Turner said: “We are really concerned in the health service locally as well as nationally about the mental health impact of all of this.

John Turner

“We’ve set up a multi-agency mental health recovery cell to try and scope out and action how we respond to things going forward.

“Clearly the pandemic and the situation with lockdown caused a number of immediate issues. Sometimes that’s with patients who had pre-existing mental health conditions that have been exacerbated over last few months.

“Clearly we have people in Lincolnshire, though thankfully proportionally fewer than just about anywhere else, but nonetheless still a significant number, who have become bereaved through this situation who will need mental health support.

“We have a wide number of people across the health and care system who have had an extremely difficult and emotional time working in care homes or at the NHS who will need additional support.

“We know there’s been increases in matters such as domestic abuse and we’re all concerned about things such as the suicide rate.

“These are massive issues for us. But looking forward, if that’s the right terminology, I think the mental health consequences of the economic impact in Lincolnshire could be very significant.

“There’s a strong link between poor mental health and job insecurity and we clearly don’t know what the economy will look like when we come through this.

Mr Turner said the new group is to look at supporting those with mental health across the county.

“We’re looking to draw in national and international evidence how we best plan, prepare and act for what we’re already experiencing and what we’re anticipating ahead for being very significant mental health consequences for our population,” he said.

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