Devon sees demand for mental health support leap by almost a quarter in April
Demand for support for individuals suffering with acute mental health conditions during lockdown has jumped by 23% in Devon in the last month, according to new figures released during Mental Health Awareness Week by Exeter-based mental health support service, Independent Living West Country.
The business, which was set up following the withdrawal of MIND in the region in 2018, has seen a dramatic rise in the number of clients being referred by Devon County Council, which has responsibility for the care of some of the county’s most vulnerable individuals once they leave the direct support of the NHS.
Much of the demand has been driven by NHS patient discharges, undertaken to make room for those affected by Covid-19. However, an increasing number of individuals are coming to light that are in need of support caused by anxiety and isolation linked to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It’s quite clear that fears and worries are triggering mental health vulnerability among those that have struggled with their mental wellbeing in the past, or have conditions such as acute anxiety, ADHD or schizophrenia,” says Marie Tolly, Founder and Director of Independent Living West Country. “In such trying times, mental health conditions become more extreme and can lead to a collapse in an individual’s ability to cope with even the most basic of tasks, which is where we step in.
“In April, we saw a particular spike in demand, with a significant uplift in the level of support required by clients experiencing mental health conditions linked to Covid-19. We fully expect this trend to continue, particularly from individuals struggling with mental health in lockdown, who may be at high-risk of contracting Covid-19 due to medical conditions, or are isolated from friends and family who cannot provide the support that they desperately need.”
Independent Living West Country supports clients struggling with mental health, helping them to cope with daily life and the transition from formal support within the NHS, to living life in the community.
Working closely with Devon County Council for those on benefits, and directly with private clients in need of tailored support, Independent Living West Country provides essential support, placing the wellbeing of the individual first, bringing normality to disrupted lives, providing help, understanding, guidance and friendship to those struggling with their mental health.
Alongside shop and drop services, regular wellbeing checks and socially distanced accompanied exercise, Independent Living West Country will be reintroducing socially distanced home visits and in-home support from next week to assist those needing and requesting this level of help.