Mental health report finds 49% of adults in England negatively affected by pandemic

By Thomas Carter

Nearly half of adults (49 per cent) in England say the Covid-19 pandemic has negatively affected their mental health, recent figures have shown.

The report, commissioned by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID), also found that more than a third of adults (34 per cent or 15.1 million people) said they did not know what to do to improve their mental wellbeing.

As a result, OHID has launched the new ‘Every Mind Matters’ (EMM) campaign, which seeks to help people better their mental health.

Christopher Pendleton, 28, who struggled with homesickness and low self-esteem during the pandemic, said: “The main thing with my mental health is lack of self-confidence and a feeling of ‘what do I bring to the table?’. I undervalue myself a lot.

“I like to keep in touch with my friends, but at times I struggle to do so, then finding it hard to reconnect when I feel like I don’t deserve to.”

The percentage of adults (%) that say their mental health was negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic (Credit: Thomas Carter, Canva)

According to a press release by OHID, the new EMM campaign “empowers people to look after their mental health by directing them to free, practical tips and advice.”

“By answering five simple questions through the EMM platform, people can get a tailored ‘Mind Plan’, giving them personalised tips to deal with stress and anxiety, boost their mood, sleep better and feel more in control.”

Now a facilitator for mental health charity Andy’s Man Club, which has more than 60 locations across the country, Christopher added: “We run local support groups for those who struggle with their mental health.

“It’s a safe, non-judgemental space, where we question each other and talk about our problems.

“We’re all in the room for the same reason, and it’s interesting because you meet people who may have had similar experiences to you in their life.

“If you’re struggling mentally, it’s important to not just talk to those who simply listen, but those that give advice on how to move forward.”

Additionally, the OHID report found that younger adults were struggling the most, with 57 per cent of 18-34 year olds saying their mental health was negatively affected as a result of the pandemic.

A number of celebrities have also come out in support of the new campaign, such as Stephen Fry, Jay Blades and Arlo Parks.

For more information regarding the EMM campaign, visit: https://www.nhs.uk/every-mind-matters/

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