Depression on the increase, young people are at risk

The percentage of people with severe depressive symptoms increased from 9% to 18% from the first to the second wave

 Depression on the increase, young people are at risk
Depressive symptoms are growing strongly, young people are at risk

Depression on the increase, young people are at risk

Depressive symptoms are growing strongly, young people are at risk

The percentage of people with severe depressive symptoms increased significantly over the course of the second pandemic wave. From 9% of the first spring wave it grew to 18% in November. Young people in particular are at risk.

This was indicated by the Task Maybe Covid-19 established by the Federal Council on the basis of the results extrapolated from the third survey of the Swiss Corona Stress Study relating to the period between 11 and 19 November 2020, in which 11 612 people from all over Switzerland.

Illness and lockdown stressors

Stress levels have risen significantly since the first survey, performed during the April 2020 lockdown. The increase in stress was accompanied by an increase in depressive symptoms. Factors associated with psychological distress and depressive symptoms included worries about coronavirus-related changes in work, school or education, financial losses, and fears for the future.

All these stressors have increased significantly compared to the period in April. Other factors included the fear that someone in one’s inner circle would become seriously ill or die, as well as social restrictions and increased conflicts in the home.

Especially young people

The percentage of respondents with severe depressive symptoms, which was 3% before the pandemic, 9% during the April lockdown and 12% during the partial easing in May, thus reached 18% in November.

The risk of severe depressive symptoms was associated with age (highest in people aged 14 to 24) and increased in people who had suffered financial losses due to the restrictive measures.

Romandie

In addition, the inhabitants of Romandie, most affected by the pandemic during the second wave, were subject to a higher risk of severe depressive symptoms than the inhabitants of the rest of Switzerland.

Foreign studies indicate that health care workers working in intensive care are at a greater risk of mental health problems

Countermeasures

The Task Force does not just illustrate the phenomenon but also proposes some countermeasures to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on people’s mental health.

In addition to reducing the number of cases and preventing future waves, it asks to compensate for the financial losses attributable to protective measures and to organize countermeasures to reduce stress in schools / universities.

Cost coverage for remote psychological / psychiatric treatments should be maintained and the population made aware of mental health problems and treatment options by promoting preventive measures, such as physical activity.

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