A SECOND coronavirus lockdown will trigger a spike in suicides, alcoholism and domestic abuse, leading experts have warned.
Further restrictions put in place due to Covid-19 will come into play later this week and doctors have now warned that the lockdown will cause “collateral damage”.
⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updatesFurther lockdown restrictions could trigger a spike in suicides, experts have warned Credit: Getty Images - Getty
Writing in an open letter, 42 signatories said that one in six children now have a mental health issue because of previous restrictions.
Dr Keri Nixon, who works as a consultant psychologist last night said that the lockdown is supposed to prevent deaths from Covid but would instead lead to “intense loneliness and depression in older people”.
She said both are “killers” and would make the elderly more vulnerable to Covid-19.
The declaration calls for the replacement of lockdowns with “focused protection of the vulnerable”.
Five thousand experts from around the world have signed the declaration.
Last month the government introduced a tier system to help stop the spread.
Isolation can lead to loneliness and is a predictor of suicidal thoughts
With cases still rising it has now been forced to impose further restrictions and England will be plunged into lockdown later this week.
Each claim made in the letter is backed up and referenced peer-reviewed studies.
It states that since the first lockdown, the “psychological health” of the UK population has suffered greatly.
“With significant increases in reported stress, anxiety, depression; escalating alcohol consumption and domestic abuse; and increases in suicidal thoughts, especially among young adults.”
It also sites previous findings from NHS Digital which earlier this month revealed that one in six children in England are likely to meet criteria for a mental health problem.
The letter adds: “With reported increases in self-harm, and abuse… and a concerning suggestion of increased child suicide.”
It added that coverage of the pandemic could “become damaging”.
This, experts claim, could increase the likelihood of someone developing a phobia or a condition such as OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder).
The paper explained that children could develop beliefs that the “world is dangerous and infectious”.
It was reported last month that the virus has fuelled "toxic isolation epidemic" in kids.
The experts claim that this could have negative psychological outcomes.The study highlighted that children have struggled to adapt to the lockdown measures Credit: Getty Images - Getty
It said: “Social connection and human touch are essential for psychological stability. And isolation can lead to loneliness and is a predictor of suicidal thoughts”.
The letter states that some of those who have been worst affected have included new parents.
Restrictions put in place due to the pandemic meant that many parents had to go it alone when giving birth.
Their partners were at times not able to be present for the birth of their new child.
This lead to a social media movement hash tagged “butnotmaternity”.
The movement is raising awareness of the effects of going to scans, appointments and labour alone.
Among the articles cited in the paper, the experts highlighted a Lancet article which stated that mental illness had increased 60 per cent since the first lockdown in March.Many women have had to go through labour alone Credit: Getty Images - Getty
Experts who put their names to the letter are calling for a review of current measures and said it was “time to reconsider the approach”.
One of the signatories was psychologist Emma Kenny who said she had received a letter from a young woman who had taken her life as a result of Covid-19.
She said her depression had been caused by everything she had lost due to the virus.
In the letter the young woman said: “The weight has lay on my chest for months. Suffocating me and every day living with more threats and fear.
“I needed it to ease, not get harder. Please keep trying to help ease things for those stronger than me.”
It was previously reported that the lockdown had fuelled a mental health crisis in Britain.
Because of the virus many people have been unable to see their families for months on end.
Others have lost loved one and their livelihoods due to the economic impact that the virus has had.
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