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May 2020

“I am blown away by the speed and effectiveness of their immediate crisis response.” Think Ahead’s Co-Chief Executive writes about Covid-19’s impact on mental health services

Think Ahead’s Co-Chief Executive Ella Joseph has written about how mental health services are adapting to Covid-19, as well as predictions within the sector for its aftermath, in a piece for the NHS Confederation, the body that represents NHS member organisations.

In the article, Ella shared insights gained through our Rapid Report, produced in response to initial efforts being made to adapt services to cope with the pandemic.

We interviewed social workers from 33 mental health services across England to find out how services and roles are changing. Among the common themes that emerged are how support for service users is changing, as well as the vital role that trainees are playing in supporting the organisations they work with.

“Overall, we found a picture of teams working incredibly hard, in very stressful conditions, to put creative solutions in place and provide the best possible care,” Ella says.

Ella also discusses her thoughts on the future of mental health services and the need to prepare for what some professionals have termed a “follow-on epidemic”, which they predict will result from the pandemic.

“Many teams are anticipating increased demand, and expect this to coincide with reduced staffing due to illness, self-isolating and shielding,” she added. “The question, now, is where things go from here – and how services can prepare for the wider mental health impacts of this crisis, which are only just beginning.”

Read Ella’s full article on the NHS Confederation’s NHS Voices website.