IT is estimated that the global economy loses about $1trillion in productivity, due to anxiety and depression.

That’s about £35billion lost per year in the UK alone.

With mental health days now a viable reason to take time off of work, the importance of monitoring one’s mental stability is more prevalent than ever - with 72 million working days lost a year, averaging 2.5 days a year per person.

There are about seven million care workers in the UK, amounting to about one in ten of the population.

In the wake of the pandemic, many flocked to pick up the many care jobs on offer in the sector. Alongside pizza delivery drivers, care work was one of the few readily available jobs throughout first lockdown.

Chelmsford Weekly News:

There was an estimated 39,000 jobs in adult social care in Essex last year, 89 per cent of which came from independent companies.

The increased demand for care workers did not come alone, however.

A study conducted by Mind Mental Health charity found that 60 per cent of adults and 68 per cent of young people experienced a decline in mental health.

According to Public Health England, Essex is in the top percentile, with a 14.9 per 100 prevalence of common mental mental disorders for people aged 16 and over.

A mental health support worker spoke of the value of the work they do: “There is nothing more rewarding than seeing a person come in at their lowest point, seemingly at the end of their wit, then watching their improvement and transformation through the support you give, helping to rehabilitate them into society.

“Care work is vital in the UK, especially for Colchester.”

Another support worker I spoke to regarding their role informed me of the “immense sense of well being that comes from such a high responsibility role”, which correlates with the ten per cent in growth of the mental health sector across the East of England since 2012.

“I am incredibly lucky and thankful to be able to do the work I do,” one of the UK’s 96,000 registered mental health nurses told me.

“There has never been a more important time to work in mental health.

“Since the pandemic, people are finally giving it as much importance as physical health - yet services across the country are stretched more than ever.”

The Royal College of Nursing has highlighted a 10.6 per cent decrease in the total mental health nursing workforce since 2009.

“In this job role, you really are a pillar of the community.

“There is nothing more rewarding than helping people repair themselves, providing the care and environment to encourage growth and progress.

“The nursing community in Colchester is so strong, the strength of such a community is invaluable for the town - especially with all the great services we have to offer.”

However, more support is still needed.

The NHS reported 10,285 vacancies in June this year, growing from the 9,080 reported last year.