Although the physical threat of Covid-19 is higher for older people, many statisticians and charities have reported a sharp upturn in depression and anxiety among young people.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported earlier this year, that almost one in five adults was likely to be experiencing some form of depression during lockdown, compared to one in 10 from before the pandemic, and that is skewed to the younger age groups.
It’s clear to see that the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted our nations mental health- but why specifically?
“This is a traumatic time for people”
Grace O’Neill is a student studying Psychology at the University of Salford, she spoke about the mental health changes seen because of Covid-19.
“Naturally, when people are locked inside and isolated from the outside world, they begin feeling lonely.”
She continued: “They have more time to reflect on the negativity in their life and the world.
“In terms of anxiety, not only are people anxious for Covid, they’re anxious for their finances and jobs, they’re anxious for their relationships and anxious for life after the pandemic.”
Experts from the British Medical Journal have also warned of long-term effects, stating ‘the mental health impact of the pandemic is likely to last much longer than the physical health impact’.
Ms O’Neill said; “The coronavirus pandemic is a time which will stay with many of us for the years to come. Many will never truly leave behind the depression and anxiety they carry with them now.
“This is a traumatic time for people, which may take years, even a lifetime, to heal from.”
Mental health problems as a result of Covid-19 are a new challenge for many people.
The most important safeguard is a network of support.
Ms O’Neill said: “If someone you know is struggling, the best thing you can do is simply reach out – a text or a call can be a real light in someone’s day. Let people know you are there for them.
“Reach out for your own good too, keep in touch with friends and loved ones.
“Counselling is still available and if you do begin to experience a drop in mood, motivation or any other symptoms of depression you can contact your GP.”
Where to find help…
If you’re experiencing a decline in your mental health, whether related to the pandemic or not, there are things you can do.
Phone consultations are available, having a professional to talk can be a big help.
Salford Royal runs an emergency mental health team in their A&E department, available 24/7.
The NHS also offers advice and help written on its various channels, which can be found here.