Whilst a great deal of research recently has focussed on population health and how those with no previous mental health problems are being affected by the pandemic, we want to highlight the impact on those with lived experience of mental health issues.
We ran a members survey from the middle of April 2020 until the middle of June 2020. We received responses from 154 individuals with lived experience of mental health issues.
We found 70% were most worried about their mental health deteriorating. This is not unexpected, however, it is important to note that this was seen as more of a concern than catching the virus for our members.
63% of the individuals we surveyed felt their mental health had deteriorated (either a little or significantly). A small percentage of people – 9% felt there mental health had improved (we are unsure why some felt better, however a few comments mentioned they felt less pressure).
This finding is in line with the Mental health charity Mind[i] who reported that 65% of adults and 75% of young people aged 13 to 24 with an existing mental health condition had reported worsened mental health during the lockdown.
Key concerns highlighted by VOX members were as follows (mental health underpins each of these concerns):
- Family dynamics/competing demands
- Current support being affected negatively/difficulty in accessing services
- Missing contact with others
- Worry about contracting the virus
- How to get back to normal after lockdown
[i] Mind (2020) The Mental Health Emergency [Online] Available from https://www.mind.org.uk/media-a/5929/the-mental-health-emergency_a4_final.pdf [Accessed 30 June 2020]