Disabled Scots facing a ‘mental health emergency’

A charity has warned that many disabled people in Scotland are at ‘breaking point’ as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Inclusion Scotland has published the details of a survey of more than 800 people, which shows that stress, fear and anxiety are widespread for disabled people in the wake of the virus and the response to it.

Almost half of those who responded said the pandemic has had an impact on the level of social care support they receive.

Around a third (30%) reported that their support had either stopped completely or had been reduced.

And 15% of all respondents said their mental health had been negatively affected by the current crisis.

Around two thirds of those who responded to a question about whether they were struggling to get access to food and medicine said the crisis has had an impact.

And while the survey did not ask any specific questions about people being asked to sign Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) notices, four people said that either they or someone they know had been asked to sign such a notice.

And around one in 10 people who responded to a question about job security, said they were concerned that they could lose their job as a result of the pandemic.

‘It is an anxious and stressful time for everyone in Scotland, but our evidence shows that too many disabled Scots in lockdown are facing a mental health emergency,’ said Inclusion Scotland’s chief executive, Dr Sally Witcher.

‘We know that there have been Scottish Government announcements of actions that aim to address some of the issues that are causing disabled people additional stress and anxiety, but what is happening, in the cases that we are hearing, tells us that this is not always translating into reality for disabled people on the ground, at a time when so many services, including those offering mental health support, are least able to provide help.’

Photo – Stevepb (Pixabay)

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