THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
New studies on both sides of the Atlantic have revealed the extent to which Americans and Brits are more likely to experience mental health issues since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.
In the US, the Mental Health Index has found an "alarming" rise of 102% in the risk of depression among US workers, whilst in the UK, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports that in June 2020, around one in five adults (19.2%) were likely to experience some form of depression during the pandemic, compared to one in 10 adults (9.7%) before the pandemic, July 2019 to March 2020.
Both studies also found younger people are at a great risk of experiencing the symptoms of depression due the pandemic.
In the US, Total Brain, the organization behind the Mental Health Index, says that working Americans aged 20-39 have a 101% "higher risk of depression" and a 132% "greater risk of general anxiety" than middle aged counterpats aged 40-59. In the UK, the ONS reports that "Adults aged 16 to 39 years old were more likely than other adults to be experiencing some form of depression during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic".
The studies highlight the ongoing importance of mental health awareness on both sides of the pond.
Louis Gagnon, CEO of Total Brain, responded to the results, saying "It has been more than five months since the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic ... People are experiencing sustained elevation in stress and anxiety levels like never before. The fact that the risk of developing clinical depression continues to escalate at such a disturbing rate comes as little surprise. Depression is the manifestation of months of chronic stress and anxiety overload."
Garen Staglin, Chairman of One Mind at Work, followed by commenting that "The significant increase in risk for depression among millennials is a reminder that those in their late 20s and 30s are experiencing even more adverse mental health effects from the pandemic than other age ranges. Workplaces have unique opportunities to support their employees' wellbeing and we hope this data is a catalyst for more action."
In the UK, Tim Vizard, Principal Research Officer at the ONS, said "Almost 1 in 5 adults were experiencing some form of depression during the pandemic, almost doubling from around one in 10 before the pandemic. Adults who were young, female, unable to afford an unexpected expense or disabled were the most likely to experience some form of depression during the pandemic."
If you're experiencing depression or anxiety as a result of the pandemic, or for any other reason, it's always best to reach out. Whether you're in the UK or US, there are plenty of organizations ready and able to support you. We've included links to a few below.
Anxiety UK - www.anxietyuk.org.uk
CALM - The Campaign Against Living Miserably - www.thecalmzone.net
Mind - www.mind.org.uk
Rethink Mental Illness - www.rethink.org
Samaritans - www.samaritans.org
YoungMinds - www.youngminds.org.uk
More support on the NHS website