Devon sees dramatic rise in demand for mental health support

Devon sees rise in demand for mental health support.jpg
(Last Updated On: June 29, 2020)

Demand for support for individuals suffering with acute mental health conditions during the coronavirus pandemic, has jumped by 23% in Devon over the past two months, according to latest figures released 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 to it 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 early demand was been driven by NHS patient discharges, undertaken to make room for those affected by Covid-19 during April. However, an increasing number of individuals are coming to light that are in need of support due to 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 both April and May, we saw a sustained uplift in the level of support required by clients experiencing mental health conditions triggered or intensified by Covid-19. To meet this demand, we’ve increased our staff numbers by 39%, and have further staff joining us in July.

“Without doubt, this is a trend that we expect to continue, particularly where individuals are at high-risk of contracting Covid-19 due to medical conditions, or are isolated from friends and family who cannot provide the level of 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 has reintroduced socially distanced home visits and in-home support to assist those needing and requesting this level of help.

If you, a friend, patient or family member is struggling with acute mental health conditions in lockdown, requiring in-home support to cope with the challenges of daily life, please call Independent Living West Country on 01392 467007 for details of how they can help.

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