Agenda item

Implications for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention of COVID-19


Kathryn Singh to present an update


Kathryn Singh, RDaSH, gave the following powerpoint presentation on Aim 2:-


Aim 2:  All Rotherham People enjoy the best possible mental health and wellbeing and have a good quality of life


-           Strategic Priority 1

Improving mental health and wellbeing of all Rotherham people

-           Strategic Priority 2

Reducing the occurrence of common mental health problems

-           Strategic Priority 3

Improving support for enduring mental health needs (including dementia)

-           Strategic Priority 4

Improve the health and wellbeing of people with learning disabilities and autism


Mental Health/Learning Disabilities and Autism Service Update

-           Majority of MH/LD and A Services continued with some adjustments:

Digitalisation to address social distancing rules

Check-ins with vulnerable groups

-           Some staff redeployed into critical service areas from less critical ones

-           Capacity in Psychiatric Intensive Care Units remained high throughout

-           Have provided access to urgent mental health support 24/7

-           Continued focus on suicide prevention

-           Services saw an initial reduction in demand now seeing this increasing – mirrored across the region and nationally

Services have had to move ‘online’ in many cases

Impact of this now being experienced

Interruption to ongoing care

Later presentations with more complex needs

Starting to see an increase in MH Act Assessments since easing of lockdown restrictions


Children and Young People

-           Initial reduction in demand now starting to return to normal levels

Nationally some evidence to suggest there is a growth in suicidal ideation

Information suggests significant growth in demand in following areas:-

Parental conflict, sadness, domestic violence and sleeping issues


MH/LD&A Future Concerns

-           Growth in demand expected

-           Anticipate a psycho-social impact

-           Existing health inequalities are likely to be exaggerated

-           Disproportionate impact on those with existing mental health problems

-           Depression is highly prevalent post-disasters and is often co-morbid with PTSD

-           Anxiety, panic disorder and phobias

-           Increase in substance use and alcohol intake

-           Adjustment disorders


Discussion ensued on the presentation with the following issues raised:-


·            Good links with the Hub

·            As start to design RDaSH’s recovery programme works, ensure contact with locality hubs and the support that the Service could provide on a more granual level in the community


Ruth Fletcher-Brown, Public Health, gave a verbal update on suicide prevention and bereavement support.


Bereavement support

-           A report had been considered by the COVID-19 Gold Place Board on bereavement provision across the board working with voluntary and community sector support

-           Acknowledgement that bereavement support was an area that had not received equal provision across the whole of the Borough with people accessing support through the Hospice in the past

-           Scoping exercise underway looking at the key messages for staff and Place partners on how people felt comfortable having discussions with those who had experienced death


Listening Ear

-           Had been piloted across Yorkshire and Bassetlaw.  The COVID-19 Gold Place Board had committed to continued funding until December 2020 for anyone who had been bereaved through this period

-           Would include telephone support as well as possible online support

-           Work would take place with Communications partners to get the message out to the public


Suicide Prevention

-           Being kept under review

-           Need to review the local assistance prevention and action plan to provide reassurance that appropriate actions were in place to address the At Risk groups

-           Research following SARS that whilst you could anticipate who may be at risk there may be other groups that were not on the radar

-           Looking at some industries that may be heavily impacted as well e.g. hospitality and the number of young people who worked within the industry affected by its closure

-           Very good support from the Police and Neighbourhood Services giving real time data so actions could be put into place to support families and local communities and what actions needed to be taken to prevent further stress to others

-           A full review would be undertaken of the Plan and the training offer

-           All partners were requested to continue promoting Amporo


Discussion ensued with the following issued raised:-


·            The action plan would also address loneliness

·            Communities and individuals were showing great resilience which needed to be built upon; never had there been an opportunity like there was currently where people were talking about their mental health and how they were looking after their mental health

·            The Public Health and Wellbeing COVID-19 Group was considering repeat health assessments which would look at Public Health data and other data to ascertain how the pandemic was impacting on different groups


Resolved:-  That the updates be noted.

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