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To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment has been made of the potential effect of social distancing on the mental health and wellbeing of (a) people with pre-existing health conditions and (b) others during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.
The Government recognises that social distancing and self-isolation are likely to increase the risk of loneliness and mental health issues. To respond to this Public Health England has published guidance advising the public on how to look after their mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak. We have set up NHS Volunteer Responders to help support the 1.5 million people in England who are at most risk from the virus to stay well. Mental health providers are looking to maximise the use of digital and virtual channels, such as helplines and video consultations, to keep delivering support to those needing mental health support. We have provided £5 million additional funding to mental health charities providing mental health and wellbeing support to those who need it.