COVID-19 Scotland Wave 7: Key Findings

Six months into COVID-19 restrictions and similar proportions of the Scottish population are struggling with their mental health compared to those of late July. Specifically, as of late August: 

  • Almost half (49%) of the Scottish population had felt anxious or worried in the previous two weeks 
  • Just over one in five people (21%) reported feeling lonely in the previous two weeks 
  • Similarly, 19% had felt afraid  
  • 18% of the population reported feeling hopeless, whilst just over one in ten (12%) stated that they had been panicked in the previous two weeks 
  • All these emotional responses were higher amongst those with a pre-existing mental health condition
  • The proportion of people who had experienced suicidal thoughts or feelings in the previous two weeks was also reasonably steady at approximately eleven percent 

The study shows that nine out of ten (90%) of those who have experienced stress because of the pandemic reported that they were doing at least one activity to cope with the stress:   

  • For 61% of the Scottish population, going for a walk outside helped them cope with the stress of the pandemic in the previous two weeks  
  • Being able to visit green spaces helped for 48% of the population  
  • For nearly half of adults, contacting family (51%) and friends (49%) helped them cope with the stress of the pandemic. Contacting family as a way of coping in the previous two weeks was highest for those over 70 years old (70%) 
  • Maintaining a healthy lifestyle (eg balanced diet, enough sleep, exercise etc) was reported by 38% of Scots as helping them cope with the stress of the pandemic in the previous two weeks. Women were more likely to use this activity to cope (42% to 34% of men) 
  • The percentage of the population who had drank more in the previous two weeks due to the stress of the pandemic has slowly dropped from a high of 26% in Wave 4 to 18% in late August 
  • Similarly, the number of adults who stated that they had eaten too much to cope with the stress has declined from 44% at Wave 4 to 36% in the previous two weeks. 

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc.  Total sample size was 2049 Scottish adults 18+. Fieldwork was undertaken between 27th August – 3rd September 2020.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).