As expected, the COVID-19 pandemic and related public measures such as the lockdown are affecting the general wellbeing of the population.

Latest update: 29th October 2020

 Impact on mental health 
Do people agree with the following statement: "The COVID-19 pandemic has had a negative effect on my mental health."
  • 28.47% strongly agree that COVID-19 has had a negative impact on their mental health.
  • When asked how they feel, 9% nationally stated they felt 'scared', 10% 'concerned' and 14% 'worried'.
  • We asked people back in May and repeated the question six months later, in October, what kind of impact they felt the pandemic had in their lives.
This is how the numbers concerning the top four mental health issues affecting the British population have evolved since March 2020.
  • The number of people feeling anxious due to the pandemic and related restrictions has increased when compared to the July/August data.
  • The levels of insomnia/irregular sleeping patterns are higher than ever at 46.2%.
  • The stats regarding loneliness and depression have not changed significantly and remain fairly high.
We also wanted to know how other mental health issues and/or disorders have been magnified or affected by the pandemic.
  • Anger (31.1%) and self-esteem (25.0%) issues sit at the top of the list.
  • There has been a well-known spike in eating disorders, with 15.0% of our sample confirming they have experienced these issues in the last six months. 
  • 32.5% of those 60 or under have experienced loneliness in response to COVID-19, compared to only 10.7% of those 61+.
  • Those aged 11 to 30 years old are experiencing the highest level of loneliness.
  • 65.3% of those 60 or under have experienced anxiety, compared to 50.4% of those 61+.
  • Those aged 21 to 50 years old are experiencing the highest level of anxiety.
  • 35.2% of those 60 or under have experienced insomnia/been unable to sleep, compared to 11.5% of those 61+.
  • Those aged 31 to 50 years old are experiencing the highest level of trouble sleeping.
Low mood / depression
  • 36.4% of those 60 or under have experienced low mood/depression in response to COVID-19, compared to 17.2% of those 61+.
  • Almost 40% of people aged 11 to 30 years old are experiencing low mood/depression.
  • 14.8% of people aged 61 to 70 years are experiencing this.
We asked people to tell us which feeling they would choose to describe their mood.
  • The majority of people are feeling 'worried' about the current situation, closely followed by 'anxious'.
  • The third most popular option was 'feeling fine'.
Back in April and May, we asked people how they would feel if faced with the following scenarios?
  • 59% of people would feel better if the Government announced a lockdown end date.
  • 65% of people would feel worse if lockdown was lifted immediately.
In general, how are people feeling in October about the pandemic?
  • The amount of people feeling 'very positive' / 'positive' is down when compared to the August/September data.
  • More people than ever are feeling 'very negative' / 'negative' about the current situation.
We asked people if their mental health had changed since the beginning of the pandemic.
  • We collected data in July and once again in September: the amount of people feeling 'much better' or 'better' is down, while the number of people feeling 'worse' or 'much worse' has grown significantly.
Have you spoken to a professional about your mental health in the last six months?
  • While 20.7% of people have talked to a mental health professional in the last six months, 36.3% have not done it, but they would be open to that possibility.
  • 27.9% have not done so and would not do it in the current circumstances.
Have you been open about your mental health since the beginning of the pandemic?
  • 49.9% of people have been talking with friends/family members about the impact of COVID-19 on their mental health.
  • 14.5% of people have talked to a professional about their mental health either in person or on the phone/video call.
  • 7.1% of people have not spoken to anyone or been open about their mental health, but feel like they need to.
  • 2.3% have received support from a charity or organisation like the Samaritans during this period.

 Motivation levels during lockdown 
We asked different groups of professionals how motivated they felt to work during the pandemic.
  • Self-employed professionals and business owners are the two groups with the highest motivation levels.
  • Part and full-time non-key workers seem to be the group more unmotivated to work at the moment.
We asked people to answer the following question:
"Is your current work environment having a negative impact on your mental/physical wellbeing?"
  • 60.1% of key workers feel that their current work environment is/might be negatively impacting their wellbeing, compared to 49% of non-key workers.
  • Only 14.1% of key workers are definitely sure they are not suffering the consequences of their work environment.
After more than two months in lockdown, we also wanted to know if people were still feeling motivated to workout, do housework, etc.
  • 55.9% of the students that took part in our survey are struggling with their motivations levels during lockdown, with 19.5% feeling 'very unmotivated'.
  • 43.7% are still feeling motivated to do housework and 47.5% are motivated to do exercise.

 Concerns about health and lifestyle changes 
This is what people had to say regarding healthcare concerns:
  • 75.45% are either somewhat or very concerned about the physical health of friends/family members.
  • 56.28% either somewhat or very concerned about their own physical health.
Have people been more conscious about symptoms they wouldn't normally think about? 
  • The majority of people – over 65% – are worrying more than normal about symptoms related to COVID-19.
This is what people had to say regarding concerns over employment, income, and more:
  • 65% feel concerned about a reduction/stop in their household income.
  • 51% are concerned about their job security.
  • 50% are concerned about paying their rent/mortgage. 
  • 72% are concerned about caring for family/loved ones. 
  • 74% are concerned about shops not having supplies.
A few quotes from participants in our research about the impact of the pandemic and lockdown on their mental health.
"Scared, overworked (nursing), stretched! Scared that I won't be able to see my family until at least after Christmas even if lockdown is released as I'm still exposed every shift and don't want to get them sick."
"I'm feeling stressed and anxious. I have a three-week old daughter and it's been very hard to be pregnant and also give birth during these times. I feel cut off from the support networks that usually are available."
"I'm very concerned that restrictions are going to be relaxed. I can see people in my street already altering their habits which is very worrying."
"I'm feeling very sad. I was avidly watching and reading whilst ill, but now I'm trying to focus on my garden and growing things for my own therapy."
"I'm anxious about the impact on the economy and on my children's mental and physical development."
"I'm grateful for job security and having a garden so I can go outside. However, I am lonely and get very anxious."
Powered by People for Research

Suite 302, QC30 Queen Charlotte Street
Bristol BS1 4HJ

People for Research are Company Partners of the Market Research Society, Fair Data Members, and Cyber Essentials Plus certified.

 People for Research 2020