Coronavirus expected to cause increase in mental health problems

The government needs to invest in mental health care (GGZ) so that it is prepared to cope with an increase in mental health problems the coronavirus is expected to cause, according to social and cultural planning office SCP. People are at risk of mental health issues due to loneliness or losing their jobs, or due to coronavirus-related trauma, the planning office said, RTL Nieuws reports.

According to the SCP, people with low education, young people, people with a disability, people who recently immigrated to the Netherlands, and self-employed persons are at high-risk of facing coronavirus related setbacks, which could lead to mental health issues. The government must keep a close eye on these risk groups to make sure they get the help they need and to prevent an eventual increase in suicide.

"In the near future, GGZ Nederland is also expecting an increase in the demand for mental health care from a new group: people with trauma due to corona," SCP warned. "Healthcare providers can also explicitly belong to this group."

Before the coronavirus crisis, there were already long waiting lists for people who needed help from a GGZ institutions. It is therefore important to make sure that GGZ institutions can accommodate more people, and quickly, SCP said.