The north-east is heading for an “inevitable” deterioration in mental health as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, a new report on the city’s mental health delivery plan has warned.
Ahead of the meeting of Aberdeen City’s integration joint board (IJB) next week, a report has been prepared on its mental health delivery plan.
The document reveals officials in Aberdeen have already seen an increase in referrals since the pandemic began.
It cites job losses, social isolation and housing insecurity as key drivers of poor mental health since the start of the year.
And it warned a “further deterioration” in people’s mental health is “inevitable” – particularly in the city’s most deprived areas.
The report, from the Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership (ACHSCP), reads: “Within the Aberdeen City Health and Social Care Partnership we are seeing an
increase in referrals to community mental health services and are expecting to
see a further increase with people that are struggling with their mental health as
a result of Covid-19.
“The impact of Covid-19 is affecting the population in different ways, but particularly social isolation, job and financial losses and housing insecurities having a considerable impact on people’s mental health and wellbeing.
“With the anticipated continuation of Covid-19 restrictions, particularly during the winter, it is inevitable that we will see a further deterioration of mental health and wellbeing within the population of Aberdeen City, and particularly in areas of deprivation.
“Similar patterns of referrals and requests for support are being experienced by the primary care psychological therapists and link practitioner services, third sector providers and partners, the NHS Grampian psychological resilience hub and Aberdeen City Council Covid-19 assistance hub.”
The report also provides an update on progress made with the delivery plan, which was set up earlier this year shortly before the pandemic took hold.
And it reveals that since it was implemented in April, the plan – which will be in place until 2023 – has made unforeseen progress.
It adds: “Following publication of the plan in March 2020, the service entered a phase of business continuity and recovery planning as part of Covid-19.
“Despite this, the service has made much more progress on the mental health delivery plan actions than we could have imagined, with Covid-19 response, escalating the
need to progress some actions at pace.”