A new scientific review conducted by researchers at Bath University reveals that during the first lockdown in March 2020, the prevalence of depression in the UK surged from 4% to 32% of the population, and diagnosed cases of anxiety increased from 5% to 31%. The review is based on 14 studies that involved 46,158 participants. The findings were published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology on the two-year anniversary of the first Covid lockdown. The study highlights the significant toll that lockdown has had on the mental health of the UK population.
The National Day of Reflection was marked by more than 350 organisations across the UK, with landmarks lit up in yellow, including the Gherkin in the City of London, the Senedd in Cardiff, Glasgow Central Station and Belfast City Hall. People also took part in a series of events organised by the end-of-life charity Marie Curie by shining lights or displaying flowers in their windows at 8pm.
Despite the positive news of vaccination rates and the return to normality, the study calls for significantly greater resources to be allocated to ensure access to psychological support for those who need it. It also points out that the possible long-lasting mental health effects of lockdown on many of us cannot be undone overnight.
The study highlights the significant toll that lockdown has had on the mental health of the UK population, with depression and anxiety rates sharply increasing from pre-pandemic levels. Although the National Day of Reflection provides an opportunity to remember those who have lost their lives during the pandemic, it also serves as a reminder of the lasting mental health effects that lockdown has had on many individuals. The study calls for the allocation of greater resources to ensure access to psychological support for those who need it, and to address the long-term mental health effects of the pandemic. As the Chief Medical Officer for England, Chris Whitty, warns, the pandemic is likely to remain a significant problem for the foreseeable future, and we must accept this and “roll with it” rather than expecting a definitive end point.