A new survey, commissioned by Public Health England (PHE) at the start of the current government restrictions, reveals the effect COVID-19 has had on adults’ mental well-being across the country.
The research found that almost half (49%) felt that the pandemic has affected negatively on their mental health and well-being (53% of women and 45% of men).
Of those surveyed, significant proportions of the population said they had been experiencing more anxiety (46%), stress (44%), sleep problems (34%) and low mood (46%) over the course of the pandemic.
The research also revealed differences in the negative mental health effects the pandemic is having on younger people. Those aged 18 to 34 years are more likely to report that COVID-19 has caused them more stress (51%) and made them feel more lonely (43%).
However, at the same time, three in five (60%) of those surveyed say they feel hopeful about the future. The majority (75%) reported that they are planning to take or have taken steps to look after their mental well-being, with exercising regularly (32%), eating well (29%) and talking more to family and friends (28%) being the main actions.
To support people during this time, PHE has launched a nationwide 'Better Health - Every Mind Matters' campaign to support people to take action to look after their mental health and well-being and help support others such as family and friends. The campaign encourages people to get a free NHS-approved Mind Plan from the Every Mind Matters website. Over 2.6 million Mind Plans have been created since it launched in October 2019.
The Every Mind Matters COVID-19 hub also includes practical tips and support on how adults can deal with uncertainty, how to cope with money and job worries and how to look after both their own and their family’s mental well-being while staying at home.