Epidemiologist says UK ‘past the pandemic period’
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The vaccine rollout may be hastening the end of the pandemic but the damage to mental health has already been done, suggests new research. The new report conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicates the scale of the impact the pandemic has had on mental health. It has found rates of depression have more than doubled since before the coronavirus pandemic, yet despite this public health crisis, fewer people than ever have been seeking help from their GP.
Just over a fifth of people in Britain experienced some form of depression between January 27 and March 7 2021, more than double the pre-pandemic figure, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The impact was felt more acutely in younger adults, women and people who live alone – with 43 percent of women aged between 16 to 29 reporting some form of depression.
Worryingly, the data also shows a decline in the number of people seeking help for their depression.
The ONS found that during the first stage of the pandemic between March 23 and August 31 2020, there was almost a 30 percent drop in the number of people being diagnosed with depression by their GP compared to 2019.
Theodore Joloza, Principal Research Officer for the ONS, summed up the worrying the trend.
He noted that, while GP diagnoses have fallen, self-reporting of depression has increased.
Joloza added: “The picture is one of a rising toll on mental health, with many people not necessarily accessing medical help.”
How do I know if I am depressed?
There are many signs and symptoms of depression, but everyone’s experience will vary.
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