International study: how badly has COVID-19 affected people’s mental health?
October 8th, 2021, Matthew Smith

International study: how badly has COVID-19 affected people’s mental health?

Ahead of World Mental Health Day this Sunday, a new international YouGov study highlights the impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had on people’s mental wellbeing around the world.

Online Thais are the most likely to report a negative impact on their mental health (81%), including 34% who say it’s had a very negative impact.

Online Filipinos are the next most affect, with 73% reporting a negative affect on their mental wellbeing, followed by online Vietnamese at 71%.

All three countries have experienced recent surges in COVID-19 case numbers.

At the bottom of the list is Saudi Arabia, where only one in three online urban Saudis (36%) say that the pandemic has taken its toll on their mental health.

Looking to Europe, France and the UK tops the regional list, with 58% and 57% respectively saying their mental wellbeing has taken a hit. Both countries have experienced tougher third waves than many of their neighbours (and increasingly so in the UK’s case).

Danes and Germans are the least likely of the Europeans surveyed to say they were experiencing problems (40% in each country).

In the United States, which is currently coming out of its own tough third wave, 53% say they think their mental health has been negatively impacted.

Noticeably fewer Danes, Swedes, Britons and online Hong Kongers report mental health troubles than last year

The study is a repeat of one YouGov conducted in November 2020. In many countries the number of people saying the pandemic has had a negative effect on them is largely the same, but there are notable exceptions.

The number of people reporting poor mental health has fallen farthest in Denmark, with 51% now saying so compared to 40% in late 2020.

Online Hong Kongers, as well as Britons, Swedes and Italians, are also now noticeably less likely to report their mental health suffering.