The Global Effect of the Pandemic
Twelve months after the first Covid-19 deaths in the UK and the first lockdown, we are reflecting on the impact this pandemic has had on both our home shores and the globe. This time last year, we were all well into our first lockdown, experiencing life permanently at home (for most) for the first time in our lives. Infection rates were rising, and our shores invaded by a deadly new virus. But none of us could really have imagined what life would be like one year on.
Now, rates of infection, deaths and hospitalisations are lowering thanks to the many vaccines being poured into the world. Experts are starting to suggest that a somewhat normal summer is on the horizon – as long as we all continue to follow government guidelines. However, no vaccine or hopeful speech can totally erase the mental health impact of the Covid-19 over the last year.
Please keep reading to learn more about the impact of Covid-19 on people’s mental health across the world. Understanding how we are being affected mentally will help us see we aren’t alone in our mental struggles. Therefore, we may feel more inclined to seek out the psychiatric support we need and deserve.
Mental Health and Covid-19
In June 2020, more than two-thirds of UK adults said that they felt somewhat or very worried about the impact of Covid-19 on their lives. 56% of these people even admitted to feeling very stressed or anxious. While it’s common to see people worry about the pandemic, mental health issues are becoming more widespread in groups like young adults and women whose mental health was already worse than others before the pandemic.
And the impact on mental health isn’t limited to our small island. According to an American Psychiatric Association survey from October 2020, 62% of Americans felt more anxious at that time of the year than they did the previous year. Drug overdose deaths even reached 81,000 from May 2019 to May 2020, a new 12-month high for the country.
Kimberlyn Leary, senior vice president at the Urban Institute, couldn’t have articulated people’s feelings more clearly: “these last twelve months – now more than twelve months – have been straight-up exhausting.”
With young people being one of the hardest-hit groups regarding psychological distress, we can’t be surprised to see a rise in mental health conditions in this group. According to the CDC, 30% more 12 to 17-year olds were admitted to hospital emergency departments for mental health issues between April and October 2020 than in the same period in 2019. And it’s becoming increasingly hard for parents to support teenage mental health across the world too. Leary says that the “pandemic conditions create emotional distance, not just social and physical distance. They can make it difficult for adults to know when something is going on.”
Therapy During the Pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic can affect anyone’s mental health, not just the groups identified as more vulnerable. So, no matter your age, ethnicity, gender or status, you shouldn’t feel ashamed for facing mental health concerns. Some still attack men for expressing emotions, while those with more wealth than others can be mocked for expressing their struggles during these times. Rather than judging other’s mental health for them, we should be using this time to come together and collectively understand the complexities of our mental health.
Read widely across a range of reputable sources and research papers to better understand mental health and the impact Covid-19 is having on people’s health and happiness. Use social media for good, sharing resources for others seeking mental health support. Check in with your friends and family and see how they are faring as we traverse down the seemingly last leg of the pandemic.
If you are suffering from mental health issues because of the pandemic, don’t be afraid to reach out for support. Therapy is perfect for finding a safe space where you can build a trusting relationship with your therapist. From this trust comes a willingness to share your deepest thoughts and feelings you may have been scared to share before. And as you and your therapist build this relationship, they can use this, as well as their expertise and experience, to provide you with personalised advice and support to help you overcome any mental health concerns.
Please take a look at my website to learn more about the therapy services I offer and how I can support your mental health journey. With a compassionate ear, expertise and experience, as well as a genuine desire to help, I can help you find mental peace and happiness once again. Please get in contact with me to learn more and have a chat about how I can help.