LONDON, June 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ --
- Dramatic 30% reduction in people thinking of suicide or of hurting themselves compared to 2019
- Brits "buoyed" by "collective camaraderie" effect as fundraising, clapping for carers and community kindness brings people together
- Warning of "calm before the storm" as surge in depression and anxiety expected once lockdown fully lifts and people return to a "new normal"
Brits are 30% less likely to have experienced suicidal thoughts or thought about harming themselves during the COVID-19 lockdown than before the pandemic.
Depressive symptoms - including tiredness, a lack of energy and low self-esteem - have also dropped by 10% since March, according to remote mental health therapy provider, Ieso Digital Health.
New data from Ieso, which has been tracking psychological trends in NHS patients over the last seven years, shows that while the number of people experiencing symptoms of depression has fallen, there has been a rise (5%) in those experiencing anxiety – a first since 2013.
Commenting on the results, Sarah Bateup, cognitive behavioural therapist and Ieso's Chief Clinical Officer, said:
"It's possible that the collective camaraderie effect of the lockdown and communities coming together has temporarily buoyed people. It's most likely a combination of this and other situational factors.
"Anxiety and depression are often comorbid, and since 2013 our data has shown that the severity of anxiety and depressive symptoms tends to follow a similar path.
"To now see such a seismic shift in that trend between these mental health conditions is significant and shows the impact of COVID-19."
The findings are taken from around 15,000 online patient assessment scores on referral to Ieso's adult psychological therapy service between January and May 2020 and compared to the mean from 2013-2019, in which the sample size is nearly 30,000.
The marked drop in those seeking to harm themselves, thinking of taking their own lives or experiencing other depressive symptoms is thought to be linked to the COVID-19 lockdown "camaraderie effect"- often seen when individuals feel a part of a collective community.
However, the Royal College of GPs has recently warned of a huge surge in mental health conditions expected as the lockdown lifts.
SOURCE Ieso Digital Health