The community’s leading mental health charity is expecting a “tsunami” of new referrals once lockdown restrictions are lifted, its chief executive revealed.
Jami’s Laurie Rackind said the charity is already planning for a possible spike in demand from new service users due to the effects of the pandemic.
“The immediate reaction was an increase in demand for support from our existing service users with heightened anxiety and feelings of isolation, but now we are seeing an increase in demand with new referrals,” the executive wrote in the latest issue of the Jewish News to mark Mental Health Awareness Week.
“100 percent of new referrals to Jami since March are as a result of a reaction to the pandemic – we are expecting and planning for the ‘tsunami’,” he later added.
Jami has moved its mental health support provision online, including its education programme and the peer support worker-led sessions normally held at its Head Room Café.
The charity has also delivered tablets and other pieces of equipment to service users with no online access, so they can receive support remotely.
It has delivered more than 500 meals to service users’ homes identified as being most at risk or in need of a lifeline of human contact.
Figures released by the charity, show it has experience a 55 percent increase in the total of hours of support delivered to service users.
Since the beginning of April, 315 Jami service users have received over 700 hours of support over the phone – up from 245 users and 369 hours in the six weeks leading up to the pandemic.