Britons experiencing a ‘worrying’ rise in depression during the pandemic, reveals ONS data

“As more and more people ask for support for their mental health, well-resourced timely treatment must be available for anyone who needs it.

Feeling stressed or anxious was the most common way adults experiencing some form of depression felt their wellbeing was being affected, with 84.9 per cent stating this.

Over two in five (42.2 per cent) adults experiencing some form of depression during the pandemic said their relationships were being affected, compared with one in five (20.7 per cent) adults with no or mild depressive symptoms.

The ONS also found that one in eight adults (12.9 per cent) developed moderate to severe depressive symptoms during the pandemic, while a further 6.2 per cent of the population continued to experience this level of depressive symptoms. 

In contrast, only around one in 25 adults (3.5 per cent) saw an improvement over this period.

Ms Corlett added: “Now many emergency measures introduced by Government – such as furlough, emergency housing, and better statutory sick pay – have stopped or are winding down, we’re concerned even more people will fall through the gaps. 

“It’s crucial that mental health and wellbeing are put at the centre of the Government’s ongoing recovery plans, so that we can rebuild as a kinder and fairer society for everyone.” 

Tim Vizard, principal research officer, at the ONS added: “The research provides an insight into the mental health of adults during the coronavirus pandemic. Revisiting this same group of adults before and during the pandemic provides a unique insight into how their symptoms of depression have changed over time.

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