The coronavirus pandemic that struck this year has taken a huge physical toll on those infected with the virus, while the impact on mental health has been less immediately obvious.
The Guardian’s John Crace has endured mental ill health for years, which he controls with prescription drugs and therapy, and the onset of the worst health crisis in a generation has left him struggling. Not only from the anxiety brought on by the threat of the virus itself, but from the enforced isolation that comes with social distancing. He tells Anushka Asthana he is taking each day at a time.
It is a story that will be familiar to many people in this crisis, says Dr Antonis Kousoulis, a public health expert at the Mental Health Foundation. He says the impact will not be evenly distributed, falling hardest on those on low incomes and those already struggling with mental health challenges. If the government is to get on top of this health crisis, it needs to recognise the extent of the impact on mental health, which could long outlast the virus itself, he says.