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Fionola Meredith

Why current crisis caused by coronavirus could lead to 'a tsunami of mental illness'

Fionola Meredith


Using people's worst fears as an instrument of state control cannot be justified, argues Fionola Meredith

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Health Minister Robin Swann is planning to improve mental health services

Health Minister Robin Swann is planning to improve mental health services

Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press E

Health Minister Robin Swann is planning to improve mental health services

Fear is corrosive. It's contagious. Fear impedes your ability to think straight. It skews your perceptions of risk. At its worst, it can paralyse you completely. Right now, fear is all around us: in the shocking headlines, in the death counts, in the near-silent queues of people waiting to get into the supermarket. We're breathing it in constantly.

So it should come as no surprise that the mental health of the population is suffering.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) reports that people with no previous history of mental illness are developing serious psychological problems for the first time, as a result of the coronavirus crisis.