Calls to Richmond Foundation helpline quadrupled in 2020

Increase of people suffering from anxiety as well as symptoms of depression and loneliness due to the pandemic

Prime Minister Robert Abela and Health Minister Chris Fearne visited the Richmound Foundaion office's on Thursday
Prime Minister Robert Abela and Health Minister Chris Fearne visited the Richmound Foundaion office's on Thursday

Calls to the Richmond Foundation helpline 1770 quadrupled over the last year, with 3,600 calls. 

The private mental health foundation saw an increased demand for therapy services, with about 500 sessions over the last year. 

A study by the Foundation showed that the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the nation's mental health, with experts stressing the importance of having adequate mental health services available in order to mitigate the long-term effects.

During a visit to the Foundation in Santa Venera on Thursday, Prime Minister Robert Abela stressed that the government remained committed to providing all the assistance so that the Foundation could continue to provide the best professional services in the field of mental health.

Also in attendance, health minister Chris Fearne said the government was committed to continuing to bring health services closer to the community, which is a key principle of the National Mental Health Strategy. "The expenditure of €3 million a year in services would not have been possible without the direct financial injection offered by the government, ” Richmond Foundation Chairman Anthony Guillaumier said.

CEO Stephania Dimech Sant said Malta needed more varied and well-resourced mental health services in the community.

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