Coronavirus significantly impacts mental health, according to study

Covid-19 has impacted all of our lives and with the government guidelines seeming to change daily, mental health is becoming a priority in the UK. Job uncertainty, not knowing if/when you could see relatives again, and long-term isolation has had a detrimental impact to many people’s wellbeing.

The University of Bath conducted research into the public’s coping styles during covid-19, published in the American Psychologist journal. The researched found that a quarter of those who took part have “significantly elevated anxiety and depression exacerbated by lockdown and isolation.” They also found that 15% of the 800 participants had reached clinical levels of health anxiety (which is an increase of one in ten people), focused on fear of contracting coronavirus, that heavily disrupts their daily lives. Those classed as ‘vulnerable’ reported twice the rate of anxiety than the general population.

The number of those reaching out to helplines and their GP’s regarding mental health has increased since the beginning of lockdown, with people isolating losing social support they may have otherwise had. There have also been reported increases in anxiety surrounding wearing masks, fear of those who don’t, as well as anxiety surrounding returning to school or the workplace.

To help combat loneliness, the NHS are recruiting 500 more staff to work with GP’s as part of it’s social prescribing scheme aimed at improving mental and physical health. GP’s have prescribed gardening, dancing, singalongs and art therapy.

Many charities are offering specific support to the public during this time. Mind has launched an area on their website specifically designed to help you through this challenging time, including free Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) access to find out more visit: www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus/

You can also visit the mental health websites listed below for more support:
www.mentalhealth.org.uk/coronavirus
www.youngminds.org.uk/find-help/looking-after-yourself/coronavirus-and-mental-health/
www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing/guidance-for-the-public-on-the-mental-health-and-wellbeing-aspects-of-coronavirus-covid-19
www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/coronavirus-covid-19-staying-at-home-tips/
www.headstogether.org.uk/coronavirus-and-your-mental-health/

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