It was claimed that children as young as five are having panic attacks about meeting their friends for playdates following repeated lockdowns.
An additional 1.5 million children will need mental health treatment in the wake of COVID, with NHS bosses warning of an eruption of locked in trauma.
Some young children have been left increasingly worried and even frightened to leave their home, and waiting times of up to four years for NHS help has driven some families to turn to private psychologists for help, but they’re also oversubscribed and unable to take more patients.
Some said they’re taking twice as many calls from parents as normal and are being made to use waiting lists or turn away patients.
It comes after the Royal College of Psychologists warned that the pandemic could create a lost generation who will be affected by enduring mental illness.
Data from the college revealed the number of children already referred for mental health support increased to almost 400,000 over the last year, an increase of 28 per cent since the previous year.
Predictions seen by a newspaper outlet show that 1.5 million additional children and young people will require mental health support in the next three to five years as a direct consequence of the pandemic.
The Centre for Mental Health calculations inferred demand will be as much as three times the capacity of mental health services.
NHS England’s director for mental health Claire Murdoch explained the pandemic has turned young people’s lives upside down, and Dame Rachel De Souza, Children’s Commissioner for England, said a study of more than 550,000 children will show mental health this generation and will be of the greatest concern.
At a meeting of NHS Confederation, a membership body for organisations that commission and implement National Health Services, she talked of her experience talking to children about the impact of the lockdown.
A senior health person told the meeting that their five-year-old was housebound because she was too frightened to go away from the house, never mind the school.
Another said her daughter was now undergoing counselling after she had a panic attack about going to a play date, and Dame De Souza said that she’d been around the country and had seen those sad little faces, putting their arms around their friends as they told her about having their trauma from losing a grandparent, and not being able to go to their funeral.
It’s pretty comparable to children in war-torn countries and how they cope, well they don’t, and neither will our children now, and they will need lots of counselling.
At such a young age, children are extremely susceptible to disruption caused by schools constantly opening and closing, and it’s quite confusing for them, but sadly, it’s been impossible to shield them from that.
And our children have been a casualty of this Government’s psychological warfare on its citizens.
It’s bad enough that they’ve used behavioural psychologists in SAGE to scare people into compliance, but the harm they’ve done to small children is beyond sickening, and the mental torture this country has suffered at the hands of this government needs addressing right now because these children have had a culture shock, and it’s pretty sad.
But it’s not unexpected and it was bound to have a knock-on and long term impact because children saw no one but their parents for nearly 2 years, so they’re bound to be afraid in social situations now.