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My patients are in the grip of a mental health crisis - it won't disappear once restrictions are lifted

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Last week I spoke to a young man who, for the first time in his life, had been driven to binge drink because of the deep depression he was experiencing after months of isolation. On the same day I also spoke to an elderly lady who hadn’t been out of the house in weeks and who’d found herself crying uncontrollably “for no reason”.

Next week I’m scheduled to have a follow-up appointment with both patients, a common practice in GP for individuals presenting with low mood and/or anxiety. You don’t stop thinking about them in between appointments, though: wondering how the young man’s initial psychological therapy assessment has gone and if he’s avoided another alcohol binge; hoping the antidepressant that I prescribed the elderly lady has begun to take effect.

These are far from isolated cases. Many of my colleagues describe similar experiences of speaking to individuals whose mental health has........

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