Almost 60% of people say their mental health has suffered significantly during the pandemic

This month, 41.7% of people described their overall life satisfaction as ‘low’ – the highest percentage who said this during in any CSO survey to date
Almost 60% of people say their mental health has suffered significantly during the pandemic

Women were more likely to report that their mental health and wellbeing had been negatively affected by the pandemic. File picture

Almost six in 10 people feel their mental health and wellbeing has been negatively impacted by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

That's according to new figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), which  published some of the results of the fifth round of their ‘Social impact of Covid-19 Survey’ on Thursday.

The CSO survey shows that nearly three-quarters (74.4%) of those aged 18-34 reported that their mental health has suffered significantly during the pandemic. 

Less than a third (32.4%) of respondents over the age of 70 said they felt the same. 

Women were more likely to report that their mental health and wellbeing has been negatively affected. 

More than six in 10 (62.4%) women said their mental health was impacted compared to just over half of men (51.7%).

This month, more than two in five (41.7%) of people who responded described their overall life satisfaction as "low" – the highest percentage who said this during in any of the CSO’s surveys to date.

Over one-fifth of people (20.5%) aged 18 to 34 said they were feeling "downhearted or depressed" all or most of the time in the weeks leading up to their survey interview.

Just 4.2% of respondents said the pandemic had actually positively impacted their mental health.

The survey also found that just 23.6% of people believe life will return to something similar to how it was pre-Covid-19 by November of this year – a marked decrease in the percentage who said the same last year. 

Government and public response

In November 2020, 10.2% of people felt that the Government’s level 5 response to the Covid-19 outbreaks here was "not sufficient". 

This month, that figure rose to 26.4%.

More than six out of 10 people (61.4%) believe that once current level 5 restrictions are eased, similar restrictions will inevitably be reimposed before the end of the year.

In terms of compliance, 65.2% of people rated their own level of adherence to public health guidelines as "high" – a 6.9% decrease from the percentage who said the same last November.

Commenting on the results, senior statistician at the CSO Gerry Reilly said the findings of the survey served to "highlight the impact that Covid-19 is having on wellbeing".

On Friday, February 26, the CSO says it will publish additional results from its survey. 

These will focus on the Impact of School Closures on Students’ Learning and Social Development.

On March 1, further results from this survey will be published which will cover the topics of holiday plans in 2021 and vaccinations.

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