The Mercury

1 in 9 adults had mental health issues amid Covid


ONE in every nine adults consistent­ly had very poor or deteriorat­ing mental health during the first six months of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to new research.

Those living in the most deprived neighbourh­oods along with ethnic minority groups were severely affected, said the team based at The University of Manchester, King’s College London, Cambridge, Swansea and City University.

The researcher­s also found that infection with Covid-19, local lockdown, and financial difficulti­es all predicted a subsequent deteriorat­ion in mental health.

However, two thirds of adults were in groups whose mental health was largely unaffected by the pandemic, finds the study published in The Lancet Psychiatry.

“We are increasing­ly aware that social and economic advantages have an important influence on how well people are able to cope

with challenges that appear to have affected everyone equally,” said Kathryn Abel, Professor from Manchester University.

“The health and social inequaliti­es we already know about for women and for people in poverty relate to different burdens of stressful life events and different resources to deal with them. These remain relevant and are important reasons for the difference­s we are seeing in the mental health trajectori­es across the pandemic,” Abel said.

The team analysed monthly surveys between April and October 2020 on 19 763 adults to identify typical patterns of change in mental health, revealing five distinct groups.

The unaffected groups were more likely to be older, white, and from the least deprived areas, with men being especially likely to have consistent­ly very good mental health. Women and parents of school-aged children were particular­ly affected, but experience­d significan­t improvemen­ts in mental health around the time schools reopened.

Those who experience­d a sustained decline or consistent­ly very poor mental health were more likely to have had pre-existing mental or physical conditions. They were also more likely to be Asian, Black or mixed ethnicitie­s, and live in the most deprived areas, according to the research.

 ??  ?? PANDEMIC resulted in mental health issues.
PANDEMIC resulted in mental health issues.

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