Psychologist reveals impact of the pandemic on UK's mental health

4 August 2020, 15:08

Dr Hannah Rettie sheds light on Covid-19's impact on mental health

By Seán Hickey

As studies show an alarming increase of mental health issues during the pandemic, the psychologist who carried out the study told LBC the extent of the problem.

Dr Hannah Rettie is a psychologist from the University of Bath who was involved in the study, which showed one quarter of people displaying elevated signs of anxiety and depression during April, when coronavirus lockdown was at its most intense.

She told Ian Payne that there has been "a lot of speculation about the potential mental health toll of Covid-19" and her team set out to see "how people are coping with this uncertainty and how it's impacting their mental health."

Dr Rettie revealed that "nearly 40% of people reported levels of distress during April that were above clinical cut-off," which was having a massive impact on the lives of participants.

Ian wanted to know what these people were worrying about. The psychologist explained that uncertainty around when people would see their family and friends again and uncertainty around job security have been major factors.

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Dr Rettie noted that the purpose of the study was to discover how we can help people in future situations, or in the continuing situation.

"If we can find out what's people's experiences right now, we can think about how best to help people," she explained, accepting that many people have suffered through the pandemic without help.

"There is a lot of uncertainty and we're all adjusting and the more we learn about how people are doing the more we can think how best to help them," the psychologist said.