People living with kidney disease are twice as likely to have a mental health problem, compared to the general population in the UK, the most common being anxiety and depression. In the context of Covid-19, with many people with kidney disease considered at risk, these issues are being exacerbated.
Kidney disease and mental health, a joint statement from Kidney Research UK and Centre for Mental Health, highlights how vulnerable kidney patients already were before the coronavirus pandemic and shows that, without improved support, their mental health could worsen even more in the current climate. It also raises concerns about the impact on mental health among people with kidney disease who are being shielded and face a prolonged period of anxiety and isolation, with no sign of a way out.
People with kidney disease urgently need their mental health to be taken as seriously as their physical health. In this statement Kidney Research UK and Centre for Mental Health call for mental health support for people living with kidney disease to be greatly improved, including access to psychological support alongside treatment for their physical health needs.