The Covid-19 pandemic has affected every facet of people’s lives. Work schedules have changed, we are now unable to socialise or spend time with loved ones and there is a constant uncertainty of when, or if, life will return to ‘normal’. And whilst we are limited with the places we can go, and the people we can see, we have the added stress of constantly being aware of the virus. This change in routine has greatly impacted mental health.
The below infographic explores how many people are affected by mental health issues during the pandemic, which age and gender demographic is the most at risk and the additional strain it has added to hospitals.
The infographic also explores the many factors that contribute to a mental health issue and the signs and symptoms. So, you can assess if you’re struggling more than you may have thought or what to look out for with a loved one.
Finally, there are some useful tips on how to protect your mental health or alleviate negative feelings during a mental health episode.
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Covid-19 Pandemic Statistics
As you can see from the above infographic there has been an extreme increase in mental health conditions. This may partly be linked to factors outside of Covid-19 as there was a rise of 18.9% rise in mental health conditions before Covid-19. But this figure rises to 27.3% after the Covid-19 pandemic began. Showing the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have had a large impact on our population.
Covid-19 has been a major negative impact on the mental health of entire households also, 64% of households with a health care key worker and 56% of the total population.
Obviously, there has been a rise in hospital admissions for all conditions but there has been a 43% rise in hospital admissions because of mental health issues and conditions. The main age demographic affected is 16-24 years old, this may be linked to the enormous change to how schools are being run during the Covid-19 pandemic. Which in turn has had a knock-on effect on GCSE and A-level exams which leads to uncertainty for college and university admissions, causing large scale uncertainty for the future of an entire generation.
Who Is The Most Affected By The Covid-19 Pandemic?
It has also been found that women have been the most affected gender, although the reason why has not been investigated. But there are many factors that contribute to mental health issues and conditions. Family history has a very large impacted on a person’s mental health for example, along with previous life experiences and certain biological factors.
Other factors also affecting the population mental health during the Covid-19 pandemic. Including but not limited to:
- People living alone or people unable to see their partners
- People with pre-existing health conditions; this is not limited to previous mental health conditions
- Low-income households or household with high levels of unemployment before the lockdown.
- Households with members that have been furloughed, lost their jobs, been made redundant or general worries surrounding employment.
- Households with young children, under five and navigating homeschooling.
The Long-term Impacts Of The Covid-19 Pandemic
Mental health conditions beginning, or worsening is understandable during the Covid-19 pandemic but what long term impacts will lockdown have on people’s mental health. As lockdown and the pandemic has been happening for nearly a year these long-term issues are beginning to appear. 36% of people have reported difficulty sleeping, 32% have reported difficulty eating or a changing relationship with food. 12% have reported an increase in alcohol consumption or substance abuse, but this number is expected to rise if the pandemic continues longer. And 12% of people have reported that their chronic conditions have worsened.
Mental Health Facts
We can all agree the Covid-19 pandemic has had a massive effect on people’s mental health but is in important to know some basic facts about mental health conditions before you start self-diagnosing or diagnosing your loved ones.
For example, half of all mental health disorders show first signs before a person turns 14 years old. And 75% of mental health disorders begin before the age of 24. But only 44% of adults with diagnosable mental health conditions and less than 20% of children and teenagers receive much-needed treatment or support. It is important to understand that even though many people go without treatment this very rarely leads to violence towards themselves or others. But is it important to understand that 10% of the global disease burden is attributed to mental health disorders and related conditions.
Signs and Symptoms of Mental Health Conditions
Now, obviously, mental health conditions are present in our lives more than ever, but how do you recognise a mental health issue?
There are a number of signs and symptoms to be aware of when trying to recognise if you or someone you love is struggling with a mental health issue. There may be changes in appetite, this could be undereating or overeating. There could be changes to sleep patterns or routine. You or a loved one may be having extreme or sudden mood changes or there could incredibly sensitive and appearing apathetic. You may feel disconnected or you may become aware someone is withdrawing from you.
Tips For Managing Mental Health Conditions During The Covid-19 Pandemic
Now we have a base knowledge and understanding of mental health conditions and a number of signs and symptoms to be aware of, how can we protect our mental health, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Our recommendations are:
- Know what to do if you are sick
- Know where and how to get treatment
- Take care of your emotional health
- Take breaks from watching, reading or listening to news related to the Covid-19 pandemic
- Take care of your body
- Take deep breathes, stretch or try meditation
- Exercise regularly
- Get plenty of sleep and maintain a healthy sleep routine
- Avoid excessive alcohol or drug use. Or consider contacting our rehabilitation centre if you require professional help reducing your alcohol or drug use.
- Make time for yourself to unwind
- Maintain a connection to family and friends
- Maintain or connect with your local community
Posted on Friday, October 23rd, 2020 at 9:58 am in Latest News.