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Anxiety UK call for joined up action to tackle Covid-19 well-being and support for those with anxiety and anxiety disorders following ONS survey

The UK leading user-led anxiety charity, Anxiety UK, is calling for more joined up action to tackle the increased numbers of heightened anxiety cases, following publication of figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) that highlight the extent of the problem.

In the first study to be completed wholly after the government implemented its Stay at Home measures, the ONS reported that just over half of adults (53.1%) said the pandemic was affecting their well-being, while nearly half (46.9%) reported high levels of anxiety.

Anxiety UK say the figures are consistent with presentations seen over the past month and reflect the unprecedented rise in demand for its services which has seen calls to its helpline increase by 364% last week, while visitors to its website and contact via other channels has also risen significantly, including requests for talking therapy support.

Anxiety UK has been proactive since early March in responding to this increased need by extending the hours of its helpline and in developing new services including online peer, and therapist-led support groups.  These services have provided a lifeline for many who have felt they had nowhere else to turn to for support with anxiety.

Anxiety UK, is urging the government to look at NHS commissioned mental health service crisis provision available for those experiencing high anxiety to ensure that services are integrally linked to charities such as Anxiety UK, so there is a joined up approach to care.

Non NHS commissioned charities such as Anxiety UK, that sit outside of the statutory sector mental health offer but which provide a critical service and lifeline to many, must be considered and included as ‘part of the system’ as mental health trusts extend their crisis offer for those experiencing heightened and unmanageable levels of anxiety.

Anxiety UK also believes it is vital that the government consider what reasonable measures can be out in place for those experiencing a deterioration of their mental health condition and who are especially prone to being adversely affected by the current Stay at Home restrictions.

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