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Admission to a £65,000-a-week mental health clinic have doubled because of the stress suffered by CEOs over the coronavirus crisis.
Paracelsus Recovery, which claims to be the world’s most exclusive and discreet clinic specialising in the treatment of high net worth individuals, has seen a spike in referrals due to the pandemic.
Hosting just one client at a time in “seven-star” luxurious surroundings, the Zurich-based clinic offers a round-the-clock team of doctors and therapists, as well as chefs, butlers, chauffeurs, nutritionists and concierges.
But now its leading psychiatrist is warning that the outbreak has sparked the worst mental health crisis since the Second World War.
Dr Marta Ra said business leaders are facing a “perfect storm” of mental health problems after witnessing a doubling in referrals for stress, anxiety and depression. Alcohol and drug abuse also on the rise amid fears the winter weather will increase mental health impact of coronavirus second wave.
Dr Ra said: “We have a situation where people don’t know what to expect from one day to the next and all the while there is a constant threat.
“Already we’ve seen referrals to our clinics double and now people who run companies are facing all the uncertainty that a second wave of coronavirus brings. Fresh restrictions are being brought in while some of the support to help businesses through the crisis is being scaled back.”
It comes after Chancellor Rishi Sunak last week announced the end of the furlough scheme, which has supported the wages of almost 10 million workers unable to do their job because of Covid-19. The Office for Budget Responsibility spending watchdog has forecast that unemployment could peak at 12 per cent by the end of the year, the equivalent of four million workers.
Saying CEOs feel “personally responsible” for the livelihoods of their employees, she added: “Trying to keep things going in the middle of a dreadful global pandemic is causing stress, depression and anxiety which can become serious mental health problems. We are seeing people who are normally social drinkers ending up drinking a bottle of spirits a day and others abusing drugs.”
Home working is also proving a “struggle” for bosses used to “having a battalion of people supporting them”, she added.
“Now they are having to juggle childcare responsibilities and the boundaries between office life and home life are becoming increasingly blurred. Some are not switching off at all and are experiencing constant stress.
“What we are seeing in terms of mental health is worse than during the 2008 financial crisis, when CEO mental health suffered extremely badly. Indeed this looks like being the worst crisis for mental health since the Second World War.”
The clinic had previously identified a 500 per cent increase in referrals of CEOs in the last seven years, with bipolar disorder in particular becoming increasingly prevalent among those at the top of their…