Why Counselling Is Now More Important Than Ever
As the UK begins to loosen its lockdown restrictions, allowing residents to once again begin leaving their homes, socialise and shop, each in ways almost entirely as they were done before the international pandemic occurred. While many seem hopeful, if not entirely eager, to exchange the new normal for halcyon days of close contact and indoor dining, there remains a significant issue at hand.
Mental health has, over the previous year, deteriorated significantly. Over 75% of people claim their mental wellbeing has been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. This staggering number is the result of various factors, each of which has the potential to trigger different issues, such as anxiety, depression, and stress.
Health concerns, those relating to cleanliness and contamination are now more widespread, with germ-related concerns growing. Lockdowns have led to a widespread sense of alienation and isolation, depriving vulnerable people of contact needed to sustain their wellbeing. And, as historically occurs, employment is decreasing with a shrinking economy, which, in turn, leads to a rising number of suicides.
These examples have begun to take place during 2020, with initial data already showing that mental health issues are rising dramatically. 67% believe that the coronavirus outbreak will prove to have a long-term and adverse effect on their mental health. With the NHS already under significant pressure to both administer vaccines and catch up with healthcare that could not take place during the immediate pandemic, this increase in mental ill-health is set to be devastating.
Those with preexisting mental health conditions who have experienced them become worse and those experiencing the overwhelming grip of mental ill-health for the first time are now both in need of support. Counselling in Bristol and across the UK is, as a result, due to see an increase in demand. These services are dedicated and trained to help, hear, and support the resolution of personal issues to ensure the best outcome for those suffering.
Alongside those personally seeking out support, workplaces are now seeking to do the same. The professional environment is one that has generally not been accommodating to mental health, with many employees unwilling to express concerns regarding their mental wellbeing. However, despite this stigma, it is now in the interest of duty of care to employees, as well as a business’ own sustained productivity, to reassess the mental health needs of a partially or fully remote workforce, a style of distant operation that already seems to necessitate the introduction of support services like workplace counselling.
If we are to more quickly return our economy to good strength, help people back into employment, and decrease the pressure upon the NHS, we must tackle mental health. If we fail to do so, and do so before simply ushering shoppers to return to the high street or requiring employees to return to shared office space, it is unlikely that society will recover as fast, if at all, as the hesitancy we are seeing in returning to these previous ways of life is the result of low-quality mental health.