Infectious diseases and long-term health conditions are two major public health issues. It can affect the socioeconomic condition of a country, and the physical and mental well-being of people. Infectious diseases can cause poverty, economic recession and other devastating conditions in a country. This affects socio-cultural balance which has been observed in UK and other countries as well. Long-term health issues affect the psychological and physical well-being of people. Schizophrenia is one of the long-term issues which affects mental health of people. Schizophrenia is a serious mental health issue when people interpret reality with abnormality. In this report, the impact of long-term disease and infectious disease has been described. It will show the prevalence and cause of Covid-19 and Schizophrenia among mental health people in UK. The intervention which has been taken by UK government will be shown. The public health issues have been accounted in this report to visualise the actual picture of health policies in UK.
Covid-19 as an infectious disease and public health issue
Covid-19 was an infectious disease which has become prevalent all over the world including UK. It has been estimated that from 3rd January 2020 to 3rd May 2023 there are 24581706 confirmed cases of Covid-19 (ons.gov.uk, 2023). On the other hand, UK suffered from infectious disease and the trends were uncertain in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland as well. The overall hospital and care home admission rate for Covid-19 is 11 per 100000 people in 2023 (gov.uk, 2022). It has been reported till March people accounted for 4.5% of death due to Covid-19. The death rate is high in England and compared to other states of England (who.int, 2023). 1 in 3 people in UK was affected by this infectious disease. The situation was uncertain and creates challenges among mental health patients in UK. The prevalence rate of mental health issues has been increased by 30%.
Figure 1: Country comparison of Covid-19 (UK in second)
Covid-19 was a severe health issue all over the world. The risk factor was high for people aged 70 years or above. Heath practitioners in UK defined that people with a serious lung condition have high risk (ons.gov.uk, 2023). For example, Covid-19 was more prevalent among people with severe asthma, “chronic obstructive pulmonary disease” (COPD) and cystic fibrosis. Mental health patients in UK lack care and regular checkup. They were unable to reach care home due to lockdown imposed. It has been estimated that 8.1% women and young adults become affected due to mental health issues in Covid-19 (Tracy et al., 2020). Hence, mental health patients in UK have become more vulnerable groups in this situation. The situation deepened the healthcare services gap for mental health patients. 1in 4 people was increasing mental health issues and they were unable to reach care homes or community worker due to situational uncertainty (Byrne et al., 2021). “Global Burden of disease” (GBD), reveals 1 in 5 people have long-term health issues which was increasing the cause of Covid-19 in UK where mental health patients has become more vulnerable.
There are several indirect and direct health impacts caused by Covid-19 in UK. changes have been noticed in underlying mental health needs. The mental health issue has increased. Domestic abuses have increased in UK due to lockdown which was more prevalent for mental health patients. 846235 cases of domestic abuse have been reported in UK in 2021 (gov.uk, 2022). People were suffering from mental health issues. The employment rate has been decreased which gave rise to stress, anxiety and depression and mental health patient percentage has been increased. The government imposed lockdown to prevent speeding of Covid-19. Mental health patients who already were residing at care home and asylums were unable to see their family and friends which was rising their mental health challenges in UK. The suicide rate has been increased among mental health patients by 21% (West et al., 2021). A decline in work activity of community workers has been noticed which has been defined as a major public health issue.
Schizophrenia a long-term mental health issue
Schizophrenia is a long-term mental health problem which has a range of psychological symptoms. It has been described as a “type of psychosis” in which people are unable to distinguish reality and their own thoughts. 1 in 6 people need mental health check-ups to prevent this kind of long-term issue. 1 in 100 people in UK suffers from Schizophrenia at a certain age in their life (who.int, 2022). It has been reported by “National Health Services” (NHS) that 220000 people are treated for Schizophrenia in UK. It generally strikes in the late teenage or in the early 20’s. Schizophrenia can occur genetically which refers that parents or siblings have these mental issues, and individuals are likely to suffer from it as well. It can be caused by external environment which affects the mental health of a person (Smith et al., 2019). For example, traumatised childhood, domestic violence, and lack of care at an early age are the major reason for mental health issues. It can trigger in different ages due to different environmental factors. Evidence has been found that people who use street drugs and cannabis are more likely to suffer from this long-term mental health issue (who.int, 2022).
Schizophrenia is considered as a mental health issue in UK. There are different symptoms of Schizophrenia including hallucinations, dilution and speech problems. People who suffer from these mental health issues lose interest in their work like academic proceedings and workplace factors as well (Paul et al., 2021). They avoid meeting with people including family and friends. The problem can be treated with medical awareness and help from care professionals. The suffering rate of Schizophrenia decreased in UK due to government intervention. It has been reported that currently there are 13% of people in UK are living with this long-term mental health problem (nhs.uk, 2023). It has been considered as a public health issue because it causes socio-physical hindrances. It increases the suicide rate among people. People with Schizophrenia die 10 to 20 years earlier on average.
Impact of Covid-19 on mental health patients and services in UK
Covid-19 is a public health issue because it affects social and economic balance. Due to the alpha wave, impact has been noticed in the workforce of mental healthcare services. It affected the services of 24 hour care services and critical care services for people suffering from mental health issues (Vindrola et al., 2020). People with other long-term health issues like COPD or CVD were facing difficulties. People with severe mental health challenges were facing long-term impact including neuropsychiatric manifestations. People with other mental health challenges with a regular treatment requirement has been disrupted. It has been estimated that 2 million people were still suffering from acute Covid-19 in May, 2022. It has a severe impact on mental health services and critical care capacity. There was a scarcity of mental health hospitals,
Impact of Schizophrenia on mental health patients in UK
Schizophrenia is a public health problem because it is a mental health issue which can affect daily life and the proceedings of people UK government is concerned about mental health challenges among people. The prevalence of Schizophrenia is low in UK and it is prevalent among 1 in 100 people (Carr et al., 2021). It refers that 0.7% of people in UK are suffering from Schizophrenia. Mental health issues among UK population are high but there are fewer Schizophrenic patients. It is a severe stage of mental health challenges and government interventions are creating a positive impact on society. Compared to US, Schizophrenia ranges from 0.25% to 0.54% (gov.uk, 2022). People with Schizophrenia are expected to have physical imbalances as well. A lack of care and drug intake affects their nervous system and creates physical problems. It has been considered a public health issue because it has a risk of premature mortality. Average potential mortality age of Schizophrenic patients is 29 years. People are encountered co-occurring physical illnesses including heart disease, diabetes and liver disease.
Schizophrenia affects the mental health of people severely and increases suicide rates. Mental health disorders are prevalent among Schizophrenia patients and they lose productivity. People suffering from mental health issues require social services to mitigate these challenges. Academic and professional performance is affected due to Schizophrenia (monsenso.com, 2023). It reduces thinking ability and people face difficulty to manage their social relationships. On the other hand, sometimes they face issues with social bullying. From a developmental perspective, Schizophrenia is the reason for disruptions. Thus, it affects mental and social balance which has been mitigated by different government interventions.
Government intervention to prevent Covid-19 in UK
UK government was funding different campaigns to mitigate the challenges of Covid-19. The campaign is removing the challenges of influenza virus. “Every mind matters” was a campaign imposed with the collaboration of UK government, NHS and community workers (who.int, 2023). The campaign was formed to assure that services are available for people with mental health issues. Annual public messaging has been initiated by UK government to spread awareness among people. Safe behaviour and restrictions for mental health patients have been imposed by the government to mitigate the issues effectively. People who are vulnerable to Covid-19 prediction and mental health disorders were given by Immunisation advice and targeted testing. Resilience has been maintained in society which introduced the key capabilities of Covid-19 mental health campaigns initiated by the government. A securing innovation of science helped UK government to mitigate the challenges of Covid-19 successfully. Since the vaccination program has been started adults of age 18 participated and 1.5 million adults got their first dose. “UK Health Security Agency” was running a vaccination and help desk program for any queries which was supporting people in this critical situation (gov.uk, 2022). Pulse oximeters have been given by UK government to monitor and support programs. Innovation and science helped to mitigate public health issues.
The government improved “The Heath Protection Regulations 2020” which was increasing legal duty. The responsibility was given to local authorities to scrutiny of people are facing any difficulties. It helped them to mitigate the issues with mental health challenges and domestic violence. UK campaigns had become more successful to create social awareness during Covid-19 (West et al., 2021). Besides supporting people with vaccination, the government of UK supported mental health services by launching an effective campaign. It helped them to mitigate public health issues and provide services to people suffering from mental health issues. Support and cooperation were given to people with disability. The role of “Care Quality Commission” was to register vaccination cases and provide support for people who need it (gov.uk, 2022). The government was responsible for handling change in society and monitoring clinical services as well. It helped to solve socio-demographic, physical and mental health challenges due to Covid-19. .
Government intervention to prevent Schizophrenia in UK
UK health policies have been applied to mitigate Schizophrenia. The government provide 5.5% research funding which helps care workers to conduct a survey and run different campaigns to remove the challenges of mental health issues in UK population (Abel et al., 2019). Therapy and medicines for Schizophrenia have been given by “Community Mental Health Teams” (CMHT). It provides access to caregivers, social workers, community workers, occupational therapists, psychiatrists, counsellors and pharmacists as well. Intervention teams are available in UK that guide Schizophrenic people with different stages of treatment (monsenso.com, 2023). On the other hand, a care program approach has been taken by UK government to meet the mental health necessity. A different assessment and care plan has been imposed by UK government which allowed to take reviews from family members and patients as well (Cummins, 2018). It is a key indicator which helps people to receive support. An advanced crisis plan has been initiated by public health policymakers to manage acute episodes of acute episodes.
“Mental Health Act 2007” has been implemented by UK government which helped people to make helps from care groups. Advanced statements are given to Schizophrenic patients which have given clear guidelines for different episodes of this long-term health issue. A written guideline is served which helps to signify acute Schizophrenia episodes. The statements help to take interventions or take help from care groups or community workers (nhs.uk, 2023). These statements are legally bound following which professionals can act in their best interests and help their patients to manage long-term health challenges. It gives rise to a crisis management plan which is required to provide antipsychotics. It will help people to reduce feelings of anxiety, stress and depression (Tracy et al., 2020). Delusional thoughts and hallucinations are removed by antipsychotics. A newer generation of antipsychotics has been developed in 1990 to mitigate the issues and it is supported by UK government.
Implications and further needs
It has been estimated that mental health research and campaign receive less than 1% of funding. There is a lack of mental health campaigns for Schizophrenia and suicidal rate. The government should raise a campaign for Schizophrenic patients or people who have risk factors (San et al., 2021). The campaigns should be posted on social media to maximise reach and help target audiences effectively. For example, childcare programs and mental health care have a high importance in Japan which is reducing mental illness percentage there. Social media campaigns help them to monitor and track change within society which is required to remove sociodemographic challenges successfully. On the other hand, UK government can be signified as one of the most successful countries which developed effective health policies. Different activity program has been united by UK government. The program was successful and helped people to back to normal life. The crisis resolution team has been recruited during Covid-19 and allowances were given by UK government.
Challenges faced by UK government and care worker
The challenges of Covid-19 created a new episode in UK which taught people and government about crisis management plans. On the other hand, a crisis management campaign is initiated by social workers in UK with the help of the government to reach service for people with mental health issues. It prevented society and the government from severity of mental health issues. It also helped to mitigate the challenges of early mortality among young adults. Regulation of mental health has been improved by UK government to make significant changes. Support is given to Schizophrenic patients with atypical and typical symptoms (monsenso.com, 2023). The community worker is helping people to identify the symptoms and take care of their mental health by participating in a care programme which was disrupted due to lockdown, lack of resources and situational uncertainty.
It has been concluded from the above that Covid-19 have several problems which it has been signified as a public health problem. On the other hand, Schizophrenia is a mental health challenge which imposes a long-term threat on people. Covid-19 has disrupted the socio-economic balance and pose a threat to mental and physical health challenges(Vindrola et al 2020). The UK government imposed a lockdown to mitigate the challenges effectively. Besides different health issues interventions have been provided by the collaboration of heh policymakers. Guidelines were provided to people who were suffering from the pandemic and healthcare workers as well(West et al 2021). The UK government successfully and safely mitigated the challenges which were necessary to back to a new life.