The landmark study Mental Health in the Pandemic, conducted by the Mental Health Foundation has published results one year on from the start of the pandemic.
The study, which spoke to adults across the United Kingdom displayed mixed results, which shows the different ways the Covid-19 pandemic has affected adults mental health.
A positive that has become clear from this study is the decrease in anxiety among adults. The study shows people’s anxiety about the pandemic has decreased by 20%, from 62% of adults in March 2020, compared to 42% in February 2021.
Despite this positivity, the study shows lots of reason for concern.
Rates of adults feeling lonely due to the pandemic have risen from the start of the pandemic. In March 2020 10% of adults reported feeling lonely compared to 26% in February 2021.
Furthermore, a concern has become obvious by people’s ability to cope during the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. In April 2020 during the first national lockdown, 73% of adults said they were coping well, compared to 64% in February 2021, during the third lockdown. A decrease of 9%.
The fact that the number of adults struggling to cope with the pandemic has risen to 36% isn’t surprising. A lack of support and continuous changes to the rules have let people get their hopes up, before getting crushed again.
A big concern from this study is the number of adults experiencing suicidal thoughts. In April 2020, 8% of adults reported they experienced suicidal thoughts in the previous two weeks, compared to 13% in February 2021. A total rise of 5%.
Some groups of people provided results to the study which can show which groups are being more affected than others. These include:
- Adults aged 18-24.
- Full-time students.
- Single parents.
- Unemployed adults.
- Disabled adults.
- Adults who suffered from mental health problems pre-pandemic.
“We can now see clearly that among the most seriously affected people are young adults, people who are unemployed and full-time students. In these groups, painful experiences including loneliness, hopelessness and feeling suicidal are much more common”
– Dr Antonis Kousoulis, Director for England and Wales at the Mental Health Foundation
Adults aged 18-24 were one group of particular concern especially in terms of loneliness. In February, 48% of adults 18-24 reported that they experienced loneliness directly due to the pandemic, compared to 26% of adults in general. A massive 22% difference. Furthermore, the number for loneliness in 18-24 year old’s has also risen from 16% in March 2020, a total rise of 32%.
To read more about the study view the study on the Mental Health Foundation website.