Wave 6: late July 2020

In Wave 6, late July 2020, we found that: ​

  • People’s mental health responses to the pandemic appear to have changed little between June and early August with similar proportions of people struggling with their mental health compared to those of mid-June. Specifically, as of late July: 
    • Approximately half of the population (49%) had felt anxious or worried in the previous two weeks 
    • More than one in five people (21%) had felt lonely in the previous two weeks 
    • One in six people (17%) had felt hopeless in the previous two weeks 
    • One in eight people (12%) had felt panicked in the previous two weeks 
    • The proportion of people who had experienced suicidal thoughts or feelings in the previous two weeks was also steady at approximately ten percent. 
  • As in earlier waves of our study, some demographic groups were more likely to report negative mental health effects: 
    • Women were more likely than men to report feeling anxious, lonely, or hopeless 
    • People who had a long-term health condition that limits them a lot, or who had a pre-existing mental health condition, were more likely to report feeling anxious than the overall population 
    • People who were unemployed and those that were currently full-time students were more likely to report feeling hopeless than the overall population, with more than one quarter of full-time students (26%) and unemployed people (26%) reporting feeling hopeless 
    • Full-time students and people who are unemployed were much more likely to report feeling lonely than the overall population, with 36% of full-time students and 35% of unemployed people reporting feeling lonely 
    • Younger people were significantly more likely to report feeling hopeless than older age groups, with 25% of 18-24 year olds and 26% of 25-34 year olds reporting feeling hopeless, compared to 13% of 45-54 year olds and 11% of people aged 55 and over. 
  • Worryingly, as in earlier waves of the survey, some groups were more likely to report having had suicidal thoughts or feelings in the previous two weeks: 
    • 10% of the overall UK adult population reported having experienced suicidal thoughts or feelings in the previous two weeks. 
    • Young people age 18-24 (19%) and age 25-34 (15%) were significantly more likely to report suicidal thoughts and feelings. These proportions are consistent with those reported in late June. The persistence of high numbers of young people reporting suicidal thoughts is of very serious concern
    • Full-time students (17%) were significantly more likely to report suicidal thoughts and feelings
    • One in five unemployed people (21%) reported suicidal thoughts and feelings. This raises concern given the likely increase in unemployment due to the recession; and 
    • One in five people with a long-term health condition (21%) and one in four people with a pre-existing mental health condition (25%) reported suicidal thoughts and feelings. 

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 4584 UK adults 18+. Fieldwork was undertaken between 30th July - 3rd August 2020.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).