A survey commissioned by the Richmond Foundation has revealed that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected people’s mental health, including their well-being, with increased anxiety, symptoms of depression and loneliness.
Over the past year, demand for therapy services has increased by about 500 sessions, while calls on the 1770 helpline have quadrupled to a total of 3,600 calls.
The study showed that during the year, the impact on mental health caused by Covid-19 is expected to be even more pronounced, with experts stressing the importance of having adequate mental health services available to mitigate long-term effects.
During a visit, Prime Minister Robert Abela and Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne were able to observe the kind of services offered by the Richmond Foundation which was founded 27 years ago, and remains at the forefront of promoting and provide services to people with mental health conditions.
Prime Minister Abela said that the Government remained committed to providing all the help for this foundation to offer the best professional service in the field of mental health.
The Foundation was also given financial support by the Ministry of Health and Mental Health Services, by extending the 1770 helpline service and providing it 24 hours a day. Richmond Foundation chairman Anthony Guillaumier said spending € 3 million a year on services would not have been possible without the direct financial injection offered by the Government.
The Chief Executive of the Foundation, Stephania Dimech Sant, said that Malta needs more varied and well-resourced mental health services in the community.