Mental Health Disparities Widen in U.K. During Covid Lockdown

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Mental health deteriorated substantially in the U.K. population during the Covid-19 lockdown, particularly among women and young people, a survey suggests.

More than a quarter of participants reported a level of mental distress that was potentially clinically significant after the first month of lockdown, compared with one in five people before the pandemic, according to the survey of 17,452 people in late April, published in The Lancet Psychiatry.

The responses reveal that inequalities present before the crisis have widened, the authors wrote. Low-income households experienced a higher level of mental distress, and women are suffering more than men, according to the survey. Levels were also higher among younger age groups and those living with preschool children.

The pandemic has brought to light the “stark contrast” in people’s differing life circumstances, said Sally McManus, joint senior author of the study. As the economic fallout progresses, mental health inequalities will continue to widen, particularly as furloughs turn into job losses and mortgage relief plans expire. Authors of the study recommended prioritizing policies focused on these groups.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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