In Wave 5, mid-June, nearly three months on from lockdown

In Wave 5, from 18-22 June, nearly three months on from initial UK lockdown, and with many restrictions on the public beginning to lift, we found that the mental health of the population was also starting to improve in a broad sense:

  • In mid-March, the proportion of people reporting having felt anxious or worried over the previous two weeks, because of the pandemic, was 62%. By late May this was down to 53% and by June, it had fallen slightly further, to 49%.
  • Just over one in four people (27%) reported loneliness (an increase of 1% on Wave 4)
  • Those feeling panicked has also dropped slightly to 12%
  • Of concern, the proportion of people who had experienced suicidal thoughts or feelings in the previous two weeks was also steady at approximately 10%

However, this overall picture conceals the fact that many people are having a far more difficult time than is shown when looking at the UK adult population. Our findings suggest that across the country, the pandemic has left some struggling emotionally.

Among those most likely to be experiencing hopelessness, loneliness and suicidal thoughts and feelings are young adults, people who are unemployed, single parents and those who have disabling long-term health conditions. 

Young adults

Those aged 18-24 are more likely than any other age group to have reported hopelessness, loneliness, not coping well and having suicidal thoughts and feelings within the previous two weeks.

  • The proportion of 18-24 year olds reporting suicidal thoughts or feelings in June was 22%, which is more than double that among UK adults generally (10%).
  • The proportion of 18-24 year olds reporting having felt hopeless over the previous two weeks, because of the pandemic, was 32%. This is much higher than among adults generally (19%).

Unemployed People

  • People who are unemployed are also more likely to feel hopeless, with 27% reporting the experience.
  • People who are unemployed are more than twice as likely as UK adults generally to have had suicidal thoughts or feelings, with 24% of unemployed people reporting this experience.

People with Disabling Long-Term Health Conditions

  • Among people with disabling long-term health conditions, which limits them a lot 26% reported difficulty coping with the stress of the pandemic, compared with 14% of UK adults generally.  
  • People with disabling long-term health conditions, which limits them a lot are also more likely than adults generally to report having felt anxious, panicked, afraid and lonely.

Single Parents

  • Single parents are much more likely than adults in general to have recently had financial concerns, with more than half of them reporting this experience, compared to around one in four adults overall.
  • Very worryingly, single parents are more than twice as likely as adults generally to have had suicidal thoughts or feelings over the previous two weeks.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 4,294 UK adults 18+. Fieldwork was undertaken between 18th – 22nd June 2020.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).