Impact of COVID-19 on mental health: Update from the United Kingdom
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In January 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the outbreak of a new corona virus disease, COVID-19 to be public health Emergency of International concern and by March 2020 it had progressed rapidly across several continents to be a pandemic. After COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic the U.K. Government placed strict measures in mid-March 2020 to limit spread by enforcing social distancing, travel restrictions and complete lockdown. In U.K. by end of April 2020 official estimates of confirmed COVID-19 positive cases reached 161,000 and the number of deaths has exceeded 26,000 in hospitals and in care homes. COVID-19 continues to have an impact on all aspects of life in U.K. The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych), London, a leading professional body of U.K. and global mental health professionals was prompt to act in this public health emergency. RCPsych lias issued guidance for clinicians, patients & carers, organised a series of webinars to support members and undertook a membership survey. It lias played a crucial role in influencing national policy decisions. This article will focus on mental health impact of COVID-19 pandemic in U.K. and the initiatives taken by RCPsych.