What's the social impact of worsening mental health?
Posted by margo on April 1, 2021, 12:37 pm
Coming from an African country with massive poverty, homelessness and far less resources, it's astonishing to read of this situation in a functioning, neo-liberal democracy like New Zealand? (And what's going on in other countries?) I'm involved with some part-time work with disadvantaged teenage groups, so this subject hits home |
New Zealand mental health crisis has worsened under Ardern, data shows
New Zealand’s mental health system is “in crisis” and in worse shape now than four years ago, practitioners say – despite much-heralded government efforts to reform it and prioritise national wellbeing.
The country has enduring challenges with mental health, including the highest rate of youth suicide in the developed world.
The union’s mental health workers released a statement saying they were “overwhelmed by skyrocketing demand and have seen no meaningful progress despite the promises of the 2018 mental health inquiry”.
“There just aren’t enough staff, not enough resources,” a psychiatrist member said. “There is huge demand, really, really high need and we’ve been significantly impacted not just by high rates of severe mental illness but significant deprivation, homelessness, poverty, substance abuse issues.” https://www.dumptheguardian.com/world/2021/apr/01/new-zealand-mental-health-crisis-has-worsened-under-labour-data-shows
Aside from signs that people have already been suffering in an increasingly unequal world where jobs are scarce, independent housing too expensive and only certain ways of thinking are rewarded, how will the 2019-2021 lockdowns further add to mental health problems?
Picked up from news articles:
- French ambulance services in just one city report attending to far more self-harm, suicide cases than ever before;
- French government acknowleges the severe mental impact of lockdown and is offering four free (state-paid) therapy sessions to all citizens, nationwide;
- Worldwide, mental health is worsening: depression, anxiety are burgeoning and suicide ideation on the increase (see data from various countries).
- Rate of eating disorders/anorexia among teenagers has strangely rocketed during 2020 (an often intractable psychiatric disorder linked with issues of anxiety, control and isolation)
- From the World Economic Forum:
Lockdown is the world's biggest psychological experiment
"In late February 2020, right before European countries mandated various forms of lockdowns,
The Lancet published a review of 24 studies documenting the psychological impact of quarantine
(the “restriction of movement of people who have potentially been exposed to a contagious disease”).
The findings offer a glimpse of what is brewing in hundreds of millions of households around the world.../continues"
Ref: WEF/ "This is the psychological side of the Covid pandemic that we are ignoring"
While the WEF at least acknowledges the situation, note how weak its solutions are: ineffective band-aids on widespread, systemic issues of alienation, poverty and tunnel-vision groupthink. WEF-type solutions have already been tried by Jacinda Ardern in NZ, without much success.