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Mental Health during the Pandemic

Updated: Oct 17, 2021

Two out of five (41.6%) of respondents said that their mental health has declined since the COVID-19 outbreak. The number of people who rated the state of their mental health in the lowest range (3 or under on a 10-point scale) has doubled since the outbreak began.



Respondents who said their mental health had declined were asked what things had had the biggest impact on that decline.

The top five reasons were:

  • More anxiety (24.0%)

  • More stress (20.1%)

  • Worry about losing their job (14.2%)

  • Being less busy (8.6%)

  • Challenges of working from home (8.5%)

Anxiety:

Anxiety has increased for the majority of people since the COVID-19 outbreak: 57.2% of people report higher levels, and only 6.9% say their anxiety levels have declined.


79.5% of those newly homeschooling their children report increased anxiety since the outbreak compared to 53.9% amongst other parents.



Stress:

Stress has increased for the vast majority of people since the COVID-19 outbreak: 65.9% of people report higher levels of stress since the outbreak, while only 8.2% say their stress levels have declined.


When asking what is contributing most to their increased stress levels, people listed the following:

  • Contracting COVID-19

  • Financial pressure

  • Being stuck at home

  • Loneliness / social isolation

  • Fears about job security


Symptoms:

Mental health challenges manifest in a number of interrelated ways. More than half of people say they are more emotionally exhausted, feel increased sadness, or are more irritable. Employees report the following symptoms have increased since the COVID-19 outbreak began:

  • 53.8% report being more emotionally exhausted

  • 53.0% report increased feeling of sadness in day to day life

  • 50.2% report being more irritable

  • 42.9% report feeling generally more confused

  • 38.1% report increased insomnia

  • 32.3% report increased anger

  • 24.4% report increased feelings of guilt


While the current support systems are able to help many sufferers of PTSD, a gap exists in services and support that takes a more holistic approach to overall wellness and recovery versus a traditional therapeutic and pharmacological approach to healing. In addition, existing services may lack capacity to manage a large influx of new clients post pandemic.


Thankfully, programs are currently being developed to address the concern that PTSD survivors are likely to be an increasing drain on resources for both employers, the health care system, and family and friends. In turn, individuals will be able to get the support they need to facilitate healing and transformation that has deeper potential to put them back into their careers, out of the healthcare system and back in healthy, sustainable relationships with friends and family.

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