Financial and employment difficulties brought about by coronavirus are having a major impact on the mental health of the nation, new research suggests.
A study by the Mental Health Foundation found that a fifth (20 per cent) of unemployed people reported having suicidal thoughts and feelings in the last two weeks – more than double the rate among UK adults generally.
The report also showed that more than a third (34 per cent) of adults still in full-time work were concerned about losing their jobs, with one in 10 saying nothing is helping them cope with the stress.
A third of all people surveyed by the charity – 4,246 in total – said they were worried about being able to pay their bills.
The research into the mental health risks and impacts of the pandemic, carried out between April 24-26, provide “very concerning evidence that many millions of people in the UK are worrying about fundamental financial matters and their job security”, according to foundation director Dr Antonis Kousoulis, who concluded that both are closely linked to poor mental health.
“However, it is also important to recognise that within the overall picture, it is people who were already unemployed at the start of the pandemic who are being most seriously affected,” he added. “It is disturbing that more than one in 10 people who are unemployed and who have experienced stress during the pandemic said nothing has helped them cope with it.”