Depression doubles in UK adults during coronavirus pandemic
Written by Hit Music Radio News on 18/08/2020
The number of people suffering from depression in the UK has almost doubled during the coronavirus pandemic, new data shows.
Surveys of more than 3,500 adults carried out by the Office for National Statistics showed one in five have experienced depression since COVID-19 took hold – compared to one in ten previously.
One in eight adults (12.9%) developed moderate to severe depressive symptoms during the pandemic, with 6.2% continuing to experience them, and only one in 25 (3.5%) seeing an improvement.
There was also a rise in the number of working people, including key workers, experiencing symptoms.
The majority of people (84.9%) felt their well-being was being impacted, with feelings of stress and anxiety.
Those most likely to experience a form of depression included young adults, women, disabled people, and individuals unable to afford an unexpected expense – such as a funeral.
Women were more likely to be experiencing symptoms than men, with an increase from 12% before the pandemic to 23.3%.
There was a rise within all age groups, however the greatest increase was among those aged 16 to 39, where 11% rose to 31%.
Almost one in three disabled people reported moderate to severe depression during the pandemic.
But living in cities, towns, suburbs or rural areas did not have an impact on whether depression was experienced, and there was also no difference between those in England, Scotland and Wales.
Chief executive of the charity Rethink Mental Illness, Mark Winstanley, said: “These statistics underline the mental health impact on the population at large, and also highlight the groups in society who may be more vulnerable.
“We anticipate a significant increase in demand for services and support due to the pandemic, but it’s crucial to recognise that the responsibility for mental health goes beyond the NHS and demands a cross-government approach.
He added: “Support with employment, housing and financial problems for example must all be prioritised now the country is in recession and recognised for their role in supporting people’s mental health during a time of great uncertainty and strain.”
Anyone feeling emotionally distressed or suicidal can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email email@example.com in the UK. In the US, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK.
© Sky News 2020