Women more likely to suffer from loneliness during lockdown than men, study reveals

More than one in three women say they are suffering from loneliness as a result of the Covid-19 lockdown, a major study has revealed.

The research, published by the University of Essex, adds to the growing body of evidence suggesting that social distancing measures are likely to have a long-term effect on our mental health.

According to the report, women are more likely to be adversely impacted by the coronavirus, with 34 per cent feeling lonely compared to just 11 per cent of men.

Likewise, more than a quarter (27 per cent) of women have reported at least one underlying mental health issue during the pandemic, compared to just 18 per cent of the general population.

Commenting on the findings, the researchers suggest that women may be at higher risk of mental illness as they struggle juggling with childcare and other domestic duties with their career and social life.

“It’s well documented that women have drawn the short straw on several different fronts,” said co-author Ben Etheridge. “For example, they are more likely to have lost their jobs.”

The study comes after separate research found that anxiety and depression levels across the UK fell after lockdown restrictions began to lift in June.

The University College London (UCL) research revealed that average mental wellbeing scores improved among the general population, but remained low among those with lower household income, people with a diagnosed mental illness, people living with children, and people living in urban areas.

The latest figures suggest that around 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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