The impact of Covid-19 on people’s physical health has dominated our thoughts and driven government policies since the pandemic began more than two years ago. But the threat posed to our mental health, both from anxiety about the virus and the disruption social-distancing measures have caused to our daily lives, is just as worrying. It is a time bomb that must not be ignored. There is a wealth of evidence suggesting Hong Kong is experiencing an epidemic of mental health problems. A survey last week showed the first year of the pandemic left one in 10 people suffering from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The survey, conducted by researchers at Polytechnic University, took place last year. They estimated that 30-40 per cent of people could be suffering from such symptoms now, after the subsequent fifth wave of cases in which thousands died. Other studies suggest almost one in two are suffering from anxiety or depression. The number of suicides has risen and could reach a record level this year. Covid-19 has not been the only source of anxiety. Hong Kong saw months of civil unrest in 2019 and the introduction of a new security law in 2020. A recent study in Britain revealed almost half of Hong Kong people who migrated there are suffering signs of PTSD related to these events. No doubt, others still living in Hong Kong would also fall into this category. Demand for support services and treatment has soared. But the resources available are inadequate. Private psychiatrists, for example, are expensive. The public sector, meanwhile, does not have anywhere near enough to adequately cope with the demand. The promotion of mental health and boosting of services to tackle the impending crisis should be a priority for the government. There is a need to increase awareness of mental health issues and to ensure that anyone who needs help gets it quickly. Taboos must be overcome and barriers lifted. There should be an increase in resources and better provision of online services. The full impact of the pandemic on the mental health of Hong Kong people is not yet known. But there is no time to waste. As the World Health Organization has said: There is no health without mental health.