The impact of mental health due to Covid-19

Written by Leigh Foster

It’s been almost 2 years since the first lockdown was announced, and although restrictions are nearly over, the impact of the pandemic is far from over.

In one way or another, we encountered the difficulties of not seeing family and friends, being unable to take part in sporting activities to having to wear face masks, but it’s important to bring to light the unequal effects the pandemic has had on mental health.

In particular, its effects on young people, as well as those living in poverty and having problems with money and housing. The constant changes in rules and restrictions have overshadowed the experiences of people with mental health problems, and the impact on their wellbeing.

The leading mental health charity organisation Mind spoke with 12,000 people, both adults and young people to understand what affected them the most during the pandemic. They discovered 5 key points:

 

  • People who struggled before now struggle more - Individuals who were more likely to struggle with their mental health before the pandemic has experienced the greatest impact. They report an increase in the severity of challenges they’re facing now and concerns about the future. They urgently need tailored support.
  • Hope is here, but anxiety remains - Nearly half of those who took part in the survey thought their mental health would improve once restrictions eased. However, people are most worried about the transition to seeing and being near others.
  • Coronavirus has heightened inequality - There was a connection between poverty and mental health before the pandemic. Coronavirus has heightened these inequalities. Research shows people receiving benefits have been hit particularly hard and are experiencing increasingly severe and complex problems. This shows support is needed beyond mental health services.
  • Young people are finding it hard to cope - Young people who struggle with their mental health are more likely to be using negative coping strategies, like self-harm, than adults. Isolation and loneliness have made people’s mental health worse – with young people particularly badly affected.
  • People urgently need more support - There is an urgent need for investment in high-quality trauma-informed support. Everyone should be given choice in how they access and receive support. Much more work needs to be done to ensure support is available for young people, racialised communities, and those in poverty.

 

Mental health as an illness is never going to go away, and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on certain demographics is going to be with us for years to come.  If you require support or know someone who is struggling, Mind is there to provide advice and support.

https://www.mind.org.uk/ 

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