St John of God Hospital in Dublin has said that half of all admissions in the past month related to Covid-19.

In a statement, it said there has been an increase in admissions from new and existing patients who are struggling with mood and anxiety disorders, addictions and issues relating to severe social isolation.

Healthcare workers have also been admitted to the hospital due to acute work-related stress.

St John of God Hospital in Stillorgan is an independent acute psychiatric teaching facility.

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, the hospital's head of psychology Dr Fergal Rooney said: "Sadly at present we're a nation under severe pressure."

He said this includes people whose relationships have become strained, people who have developed a real and intense fear of becoming sick, those who are impacted by being separated from loved ones, and those who are struggling to adjust with a new way of living.

Dr Rooney said the reality of Covid-19 is putting additional pressure and burdens on people - some of whom it has previously worked with, and some who have struggled over a long time with mental health difficulties and are now presenting with mood, anxiety and addiction issues.

However, he said the hospital is seeing "a whole new cohort of people presenting for the first time ... whose threshold of coping or of resilience has just been pushed into that territory where they require specialist intervention and people who just haven't been able to cope and adjust to the demands that they're facing in very, very changed and difficult circumstances."

He said the healthcare workers who have presented to the service "just really struggled to cope with the demands they're experiencing and who may have some pre-existing vulnerability in their mental health that just became exacerbated through this situation."

The hospital has welcomed a call from Mental Health Reform on Government to begin planning for an anticipated surge in demand for mental health services in response to critical challenges presented by the Covid-19 emergency.