A Leicestershire MP has called for mental health practitioners to be based in National vaccine centres to help support people suffering from poor mental health as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr Luke Evans, the Member of Parliament for Bosworth, suggested the initiative during a question the Vaccine’s Minister Nadhim Zahawi saying “Lockdown has affected the mental wellbeing of almost everyone in this country, now the vaccine program is going to mean the NHS comes into contact with almost every adult in the country. So with that in mind will the Minister consider having a mental health worker at all the national vaccine centres to provide opportunistic mental health interventions should people need it?”
Acknowledging the innovative nature of Dr Evans’ suggestion Mr Zahawi responded “I’m grateful for my honourable friend and his excellent and thoughtful suggestion, I will certainly take that away and discuss that with the minister responsible in the department.”
Speaking after putting his proposal to the Minister Dr Evans said “Coronavirus has had a huge effect on the nation’s mental health. Studies have shown both globally and nationally millions of people have suffered since the pandemic started.
“We have a real opportunity to make meaningful interventions in vaccine hubs as one way of improving the nation’s mental health. There has never been a time in our history where the NHS will come into contact with so many of the population in such a short period of time.
“This a golden chance to provide easy access for those who may not usually seek help.
"Restoring good mental health isn’t an overnight fix and some will face long term effect, but providing the public an easy option to get support is a great first step.
“This Government rightly gives parity of esteem to both physical and mental health, as we start to come out of this pandemic it’s important that we demonstrate that consistently to those who are suffering.”