Our new survey shows the COVID-19 outbreak is harming the mental health of the MS community, and leaving many without essential medications and support.
Impact of COVID-19 on mental health
We carried out the survey of more than 1,100 people living with MS in the UK, many of whom are at particular risk. It shows:
- over a third (34%) say their mental health has suffered as a result of the pandemic
- more than a quarter (26%) feel ‘scared’ about what COVID-19 could mean for them
- one in 20 (5%) haven’t been able to get the medications they need
- Of those who need support with everyday living, such as washing or getting dressed, nearly one in five (18%) have had this reduced or cancelled.
“Every day is a battle”
Jane Holyland, who lives with relapsing MS, said: “For me the biggest fear has been around accessing food. I’m shielding and my husband is staying home too to keep me safe, and we went weeks without being able to access an online delivery.
“All this uncertainty has had a major impact on my MS. The more I’ve started to feel unsafe, the worse I feel. When you have MS every day is a battle – psychological, emotional and physical – and this has added to the pressure.”
We're here for people with MS
Ed Holloway, our Director of Services, said: “Having MS is hard enough, and these figures tell us many people are now being challenged in a way that feels overwhelming.
“Calls to our free MS Helpline have increased significantly and, since we can no longer meet face-to-face, we've been rapidly creating new services – including telephone check ins and virtual meet ups – so people can stay in touch from home. We’ll do everything we can to be here for people affected by MS so they never have to feel alone"
Tell us your own story
No one should have to face MS alone. Particularly in lockdown. Real stories of life with MS help us all feel more connected. And they help us speak up for everyone with MS. Will you share yours?