'It's cancer of the mind' fears about the mental health implications of lockdown

Many of us stood on our doorsteps to reflect and remember those who have lost their life to coronavirus as part of National Day of Reflection, marking a year of lockdown.

But for some families, it will have been a painful reminder of the cost of locking down itself. 

Being cut off from loved ones is so hard and can be even worse when you're struggling with your mental health. 

Many of the charities that would normally provide help for people have seen their funding dry up, so there are worries we may end up with a crisis we aren't equipped to deal with. 

Among those who was overwhelmed by the mental impact of lockdown was Ross McCarthy from Stockton. Credit: Family photo

Among those who was overwhelmed by the mental impact of lockdown was Ross McCarthy from Stockton.

His fiancé Charlotte described Ross as the best dad you could ever wish for, for your children.

She added that Ross had struggled with the cold dark nights of winter under lockdown.

"He really struggled with the cold weather, he described it as groundhog day. He was going to work, then on a weekend he couldn't do anything because the weather was bad. He was just waiting to start the next week at work. That was quite hard for his, especially as someone who liked to keep active."

Charlotte had supported Ross throughout his long running mental health struggles.

Ross, like so many others, was encouraged to seek help and advice. He was on the waiting list for NHS mental health care and support.

In the end he turned to private services.

In 2019 the male suicide rate in England was at its highest for two decades. It accounted for;

  • 16.9 deaths per 10,000 people

  • Around 75% of suicide related deaths were men

The figures for 2020 hasn't yet been release but after a year of lockdowns, working from home, or in some cases, not being able to work at all, it is feared the rate of suicide for the past year could be even higher.

If you are experiencing mental health struggles, please reach out for support.

Here are some charities which can help you access mental health services: