One in nine adults consistently had very poor or deteriorating mental health during the first six months of the COVID-19 pandemic according to new research from the University of Manchester, King’s College London, Cambridge, Swansea and City University.
Those living in the most deprived neighborhoods along with ethnic minority groups were the most affected. The team analyzed monthly surveys between April and October 2020 of 19,763 adults to identify typical patterns of change in mental health .
It is clear from this study that, in terms of mental health, the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on ethnic minority groups, those living in disadvantaged areas, others experiencing economic hardship, and those who already have poorer mental health .
Unaffected groups were more likely to be older, white, and from less disadvantaged areas, and men were especially likely to have consistently very good mental health . According to the research:
- 12% of the sample belonged to a group that experienced an initial decline in their mental health at the beginning of the pandemic and then recovered during the summer. Women and parents of school-age children were particularly likely to be in this group, experiencing significant improvements in mental health by the time schools reopened.
- 7% of the sample experienced a sustained deterioration in their mental health.
- 4% of the sample had mental health that was consistently very poor at all times.