Nearly a third of Brits feel their mental health has suffered during lockdown, survey finds

Social distancing or physical distancing is a set of nonpharmaceutical infection control actions intended to stop or slow down the spread of a contagious disease. Strict new curbs on life in the UK to tackle the spread of coronavirus.
Almost one in four Britons have recorded an improvement in their mental health during lockdown, a study has found. (Picture: Getty)

Nearly a third of Brits have reported a decline in their mental health during the coronavirus lockdown, a survey has revealed.

A poll carried out during week seven of lockdown found that 32% of people reported a decline in their mental health, but nearly one in four (24%) said they had seen an improvement - including 8% who said they were “flourishing”.

Four in ten (41%) felt “about the same” as usual.

The results of the poll, carried out by The Healthy Work Company, have been released to coincide with the start of Mental Health Awareness Week.

They come just days after The World Health Organization (WHO) warned that Britain and other pandemic-hit countries are facing a looming mental health crisis as a result of coronavirus.

The survey by the Healthy Work Company found that nearly one in four people said their mental health had improved during lockdown. (Picture: The Healthy Work Company)
The survey by the Healthy Work Company found that nearly one in four people said their mental health had improved during lockdown. (Picture: The Healthy Work Company)

The research, carried out by research and data collection agency This Is Insight for The Healthy Work Company, surveyed more than 700 British workers during week seven of UK lockdown.

It found that 27% of respondents had enjoyed family time more than usual, while nearly a third (32%) said their communication with friends, family, neighbours and colleagues had become more open and honest during lockdown, while more than half are making time for hobbies.

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The research found that one in three people said they are consuming more alcohol during lockdown, and nearly half of people (44%) are enjoying more treats through the day, like biscuits or sweets.

Amongst those drinking more alcohol, 40% reported a negative shift in their mental health, and for those consuming more treats, the figure was 36%.

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Heather Beach, director and founder of The Healthy Work Company, said: “It is impossible to summarise the lockdown as one single entity, as the emotions span such a wide-reaching spectrum.

“Whilst frustration and feelings of anxiety come through most strongly, there are many positives that people are taking from the experience such as happiness, relaxation, peacefulness and gratitude.

”The data we collected shows that whilst there is certainly poorer mental health as a result of this period, one in four people have better mental health than before and 8% of those are actually flourishing.

”We have looked at what people are doing in this period and correlated that with what may be helping them to cope better as well as what definitely hinders coping.

“Across the spectrum, once this period is over, many people are looking to work more flexibly, more from home, and less hours than before.”

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