Study into mental health impact of pandemic launched

Research has been launched in Scotland to learn more about the impact the coronavirus crisis is having on people's mental health.

A study has been launched in Scotland to learn more about the impact the coronavirus crisis is having on people’s mental health.

The University of Glasgow, Samaritans and SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) have teamed up to look into the effect of the pandemic and the current strict social distancing guidelines on adult’s wellbeing.

Scientists have recruited 3000 volunteers from across the UK for the study and will track their mental health over the next six months and beyond.

Key indicators such as anxiety, depression, loneliness, self-harm or positive mental wellbeing will be assessed throughout the research.

This will allow scientists to keep a gauge on mental health during and after the lockdown period, as well as to help them learn what works to help keep people’s mental health stable in such unprecedented circumstances.

Professor Rory O’Connor, from the University of Glasgow’s Institute of Health & Wellbeing, who is leading the study, said: “We are living through exceptional times, that people will find unsettling, and leave them uncertain of what the future may bring.

“In this study, we aim to understand the psychological impact of Covid-19 on adults across the UK. No-one knows for certain what the impact will be, but by tracking a representative sample of the UK public, we will be able to identify who is most vulnerable and what helps to keep people safe and well.”

Dr Elizabeth Scowcroft, head of research at Samaritans, said: “This is a crucial piece of research at a really extraordinary time. It’s so important that we do everything we can to understand the impact of Covid-19 on the population’s mental health and wellbeing.

“At Samaritans, we know how important it is that people get the right support when they need it most. And the first step to making sure this happens is understanding more about what they are experiencing as a result of the pandemic.”

Anyone can contact Samaritans FREE any time from any phone on 116 123, even a mobile without credit. This number won’t show up on your phone bill.

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