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MENTAL HEALTH & THE PANDEMIC

Underfunding of some services and pent-up demand caused by lockdowns means some young people are waiting months for help


Nicola was in a local shop with her friends when she got a phone call from a health worker asking her to describe the most difficult experiences of her life. After years of crippling anxiety and depression, the 17-year-old was on a months-long waiting list for help from NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). Struggling to cope, she had requested a crisis call. In tears, she described plunging her hand into iced water to deal with the urge to harm herself. She says she had struggled with thoughts of suicide, but had not taken any steps to follow through.


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