Three in five suffering anxiety as a result of Covid-19 outbreak, study reveals

Three in five people have suffered anxiety as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, a major study has revealed.

The research, published by the Mental Health Foundation, shows that “millions of UK adults” felt panicked, afraid and unprepared as Britain went into an enforced lockdown.

According to the survey, one in five (22 per cent) UK adults “felt panicked” ahead of stricter social isolation measures, while three in 10 (30 per cent) “felt afraid” of the coronavirus.

Around one in five (18 per cent), meanwhile, felt hopeless, while a further one in three (30 per cent) felt unprepared.

Across the whole survey of 2,216 adults over the age of 18, it means that approximately 62 per cent of participants felt anxious or worried.

Commenting on the worrying findings, the authors have raised concerns about the potential long-term impact on mental health.

“This poll was carried out before full lockdown was introduced. Even then, there were clear indications that the pandemic was beginning to have a significant impact on the nation’s mental health,” said Dr Antonis Kousoulis, Mental Health Foundation Director of Research.

“The concern is that the longer these levels of mental health problems continue, the worse they become for many people. Among the issues we will need to monitor is the impact on levels of trauma, suicidal thoughts and mental health vulnerability.”

The Mental Health Foundation says it will continue to monitor the population’s health at regular intervals to gain a better understanding of how the pandemic is affecting our mental wellbeing.

The latest figures suggest that one in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year, with the most common illnesses being anxiety and depression.

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