If you’ve been feeling more anxious, stressed or depressed during the COVID-19 pandemic, you are not alone! More than two-thirds of UK adults report feeling worried about the effect of Covid-19 on their life, with the most common issues being worry about the future, anxiety, stress and boredom. For many people these worries are manageable, but there is concern that mental ill health will increase in the UK as a result of the pandemic.
Lockdown restrictions to face-to-face mental health services have meant that support phone lines have seen a surge in calls. There is now concern that as lockdown restrictions are eased mental health services may be overwhelmed.
While each person’s experience of the pandemic will be very different, there are certain groups of people who are at particularly high risk of poor mental health as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including young people, isolated older adults, people with existing mental health problems, people with long-term health conditions and disabilities, single parents, BAME communities, those who are unemployed or in insecure employment, and key workers who have been at the forefront of the emergency response.
Many of these groups were already at higher risk of mental ill health and COVID-19 is widening these inequalities. In addition, a sizable minority of people could be left with mental health problems that outlast the pandemic.
However, we must also recognise that some people have reported greater wellbeing and lower anxiety levels in lockdown as they enjoy the slower pace of life and escape from the usual pressures of everyday life.