Posted by Aston Avery

Breaking down the barriers of mental health and loneliness

We can all feel alone sometimes, even when we’re around other people. Longer-term loneliness can contribute to mental health conditions including anxiety and depression – making it difficult to connect with others. As a lot of services became accessible online throughout the lockdowns, it’s become easier to connect with one another – as well as get access to mental health support.

A recent study by Boots that explores the changing attitudes of accessing mental healthcare online shows four in five patients (82%) would consider using digital services for mental health while 70% would prefer to talk to a doctor about their mental health or access therapy (72%) virtually rather than in person.

The number of adults experiencing depression and anxiety is still up on pre-pandemic levels, with an estimated 1.6 million3 people waiting to access mental health support on the NHS. Unlike many physical illnesses, mental health issues cannot always be seen. Indicators that someone is suffering from mental health issues could include feeling sad or down for long periods, withdrawal from friends, family and social activities, and feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Aston spoke to Marc Donovan, chief pharmacist and mental health first aider at Boots.

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