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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Mental health and well-being during the second wave of COVID-19: longitudinal analyses of the UK COVID-19 Mental Health and Wellbeing study (UK COVID-MH)
Author(s): Wetherall, Karen
Cleare, Seonaid
McClelland, Heather
Melson, Ambrose J
Niedzwiedz, Claire L
O'Carroll, Ronan E
O'Connor, Daryl B
Platt, Steve
Scowcroft, Elizabeth
Watson, Billy
Zortea, Tiago
Ferguson, Eamonn
Robb, Kathryn A
O'Connor, Rory C
Keywords: COVID-19
mental health
general population
suicidal ideation
Issue Date: Jul-2022
Date Deposited: 8-Jun-2022
Citation: Wetherall K, Cleare S, McClelland H, Melson AJ, Niedzwiedz CL, O'Carroll RE, O'Connor DB, Platt S, Scowcroft E, Watson B, Zortea T, Ferguson E, Robb KA & O'Connor RC (2022) Mental health and well-being during the second wave of COVID-19: longitudinal analyses of the UK COVID-19 Mental Health and Wellbeing study (UK COVID-MH). BJPsych Open, 8 (4), Art. No.: e103.
Abstract: Background Waves 1 to 3 (March 2020 to May 2020) of the UK COVID-19 Mental Health and Wellbeing study suggested an improvement in some indicators of mental health across the first 6 weeks of the UK lockdown; however, suicidal ideation increased. Aims To report the prevalence of mental health and well-being of adults in the UK from March/April 2020 to February 2021. Method Quota sampling was employed at wave 1 (March/April 2020), and online surveys were conducted at seven time points. Primary analyses cover waves 4 (May/June 2020), 5 (July/August 2020), 6 (October 2020) and 7 (February 2021), including a period of increased restrictions in the UK. Mental health indicators were suicidal ideation, self-harm, suicide attempt, depression, anxiety, defeat, entrapment, loneliness and well-being. Results A total of 2691 (87.5% of wave 1) individuals participated in at least one survey between waves 4 and 7. Depressive symptoms and loneliness increased from October 2020 to February 2021. Defeat and entrapment increased from July/August 2020 to October 2020, and remained elevated in February 2021. Well-being decreased from July/August 2020 to October 2020. Anxiety symptoms and suicidal ideation did not change. Young adults, women, those who were socially disadvantaged and those with a pre-existing mental health condition reported worse mental health. Conclusions The mental health and well-being of the UK population deteriorated from July/August 2020 to October 2020 and February 2021, which coincided with the second wave of COVID-19. Suicidal thoughts did not decrease significantly, suggesting a need for continued vigilance as we recover from the pandemic.
DOI Link: 10.1192/bjo.2022.58
Rights: Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Royal College of Psychiatrists This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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