Briefing Paper 561 – Mental Health and Well-being by Lois Law
2022 has been the year during which most of the world emerged from the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. People crept out of their homes. Some went back to their offices and other places of employment, some continued to work at home, while others had no work to which to return. The masks came off and we could see the faces of others. Children returned to school. The retail industry, along with restaurants and other places of entertainment, opened up. Restrictions on the sale of alcohol were dropped. The vaccination drive resulted in herd immunity and the number of deaths due to COVID-19 dropped dramatically. However, the stress, anxiety, grief and worry of the pandemic and the lockdown imposed to prevent its spread have taken their toll on the mental health and well-being of our country, as has been the experience of many countries across the world. Mental illness is a growing public health problem which cannot be ignored.