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Mental health is getting worse on the Isle of Wight due to the COVID pandemic — with some people potentially missing out on services.

At a meeting of the Isle of Wight Council’s health and wellbeing board on Thursday, health bosses said the Island is following the national trend with more people seeking help for their mental wellbeing.

Dr Michele Legg, chair of the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group, said GPs and primary care providers are definitely seeing more people, with anxiety issues, in particular, both new and existing cases, and quite a lot of teenagers and people in their early 20s presenting with problems.

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Dr Lesley Stevens, the Isle of Wight NHS Trust’s director of mental health and learning difficulties, said across mental health services, referrals are back to pre-Covid levels, with there being no question it was due to lockdown and socio-economic impacts of the pandemic. She said:

“We are seeing an increase in the severity of illnesses being presented and an increase of referrals from children and young people linked to returning to schools.”

A significant spike was apparently seen immediately after children returned to school and are expected to continue — with particularly complex eating disorders coming through to the trust.

Feedback from service users, the trust said, was that they are struggling to access the services due to COVID restrictions and the anxiety surrounding it, causing some needs to go unmet. However, Steve Crocker, the council’s director of children’s services, said different patterns were emerging of the children coming forward.

Children who had not previously struggled may now be struggling and those who struggled at school before may now not be, as the break from school may have helped their mental wellbeing.

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Mr Crocker said:

“It is a complex picture, there is definitely an increase in concern and activity, highlighted now schools are back and there are more professionals on the ground who can make those referrals.”

Councillor Clare Mosdell, cabinet member for public health and adult social care, said the impact on the whole community’s mental health ciould not be underestimated. She said:

“We need to highlight the impact this is having on older people. I fear at the end of all of this a lot of elderly people will have become agoraphobic.

“It is really hard for the older people who have had it drummed into them that they are vulnerable and they will die if they get this illness — the long term implications of this is absolutely huge.”

More than 5,400 people shielded on the Island during the initial lockdown phase, and anxiety needs were some of the most prevalent support issues noted by the council.

Ian Lloyd, strategic manager at the council, said:

“Shielders were subjected to many months being locked away, many of whom did not want to go into the community and it did have a big impact.

“We learnt keeping in touch [was important], for people to have regular contact and still feel part of the community and supported.

“There is a good network out there we just need to know where people need the support so we can match them to it.”

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Geoff Hope

Good grief, whatever would this snowflake generation do in another world war situation, with homes and people blown to pieces, thousands of injured, gas, water, electricity and not forgetting their precious phones inoperable.
Culver Cliff would have a queue.
So far MOST only know on one or two dead from this.
Get a grip and stop wasting NHS funds on fear, they need it for really ill and treatable peoples ailments, not just someone worried, we all are, but YOU are the only one who can combat that, speaking to someone won’t ‘change’ the situation.


You are one morbid twat aren’t you. World war situation? How is that relevant? Incredibly dumb and ignorant comment.

Karn Evil 9

Wear a mask. Stop playing the “mental health” card. Why should you be exempt from wearing a mask, no one is exempt from catching coronavirus.

Lady Dunstanding

A bit harsh about masks and the kiddies, Karen! Maybe not everyone wants your ‘new normal’ Fascism. Also, if you actually read the article instead of being one, you’ll know you can’t argue with Doctor Legg (e)! Ooh, I say….

Last edited 4 days ago by Lady Dunstanding
Bing Bong

You’re not exempt from talking rubbish about wearing a mask to “protect” people but you spout Leftist propaganda anyway exactly as the media tell you too

Real Islander

Absolutely no science in the wearing of masks…surgeons wear them not to stop viruses but to stop body fluids (blood etc) Hancock said they are no use as well… 😉
If you insist on wearing a mask or have a test, without symptoms, I am afraid that despite your very best intentions, you are actually a massive part of the problem.

Last edited 2 days ago by Real Islander
Lady Dunstanding

The Isle of Wight County Council paying particular attention to the needs of young people with mental health issues…? That’s rich. I suggest they pay attention to their own mental health issues. The leader thinks he’s Napoleon Bonaparte, although if you put him in the hat he’s a second rate Captain Pugwash, and his acolytes are feathering their own brown envelope funded second home nests and making vast profits from our taxes. Stewart’s latest, according to my driver who likes an ale or two, is that he wants to issue an order saying it’s forbidden to dump bodies in the… Read more »

Fed up

My Lady, what have you got against Capt Pugwash? I mean, how could you dare compare him with our pompous ‘leader’.


I would think their forefathers would come out the ground and give them a good slap.

Opinions Matter

Crikey, these types seem a bit weak nowadays. We all have just got to carry on, be responsible by adhering to the guidelines, Hands, Face, Space. People can’t complain when it all goes ti*s up if we all are not following the rules. I see people on buses NOT wearing a mask. I see kids crowding together and NOT distancing. People in supermarkets NOT respecting other shoppers and the staffs space. Come on, wake up, get real or things will never improve. We’ve got a low infection rate here on the island compared to the mainland, let’s keep it that… Read more »

Ryde Reader

Well good luck if you have mental health issues on the Island, the service is appalling.


I think if you have never suffered with mental health then your opinion should be silenced! From what I’ve seen from these pig-ignorant views on here is that most of you have had the perfect life and clearly immune to mental health issues. Snowflakes? No it’s called a human having emotions, anyone disagrees with this are bloody stupid and frankly don’t have the right to an opinion on the matter. Keep your mouth shut if you have nothing positive to say and spread support for these people who do suffer.

Last edited 3 days ago by Lol



Get a life you prat. Stupid response.

Lady Dunstanding

For someone whose codename is ‘lol’ (I assume this refers to the young folks’ laugh out loud ‘ nonsense..?) you certainly are a dour and offensive type of agitator. I think you are mental. This won’t get printed. Tee hee….


You can think all you want, I simply don’t give a shit. Jog on.

Lady Dunstanding

To start with you need syrup of figs for your irregular motions. On the matter of me jogging on, sir; considering my vast size it would be unfair on the taxpayer and an already overstretched and corruptly incapable Island Rogues if I tried to move at more speed than a shuffle. Thank you for your concern, young man, but we don’t want the damage my bulk would cause on the highways and byways of Wight. Regards, Lady Dunstanding.

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