Mental health and wellbeing during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Cheshire East and Healthwatch Cheshire West and Chester have been undertaking research on local residents’ views and experiences during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  Their main survey report can be found here.  This report looks at the impact of the pandemic on people’s wellbeing and mental health.  It is based upon the 1,121 responses.

Most people felt that they were coping well. However, respondents also talked about the stress and anxiety they felt, confusion over national guidance and missing family and friends. Although most respondents felt their mental health had remained unchanged over the course of a week, of those who did notice a change, numbers fluctuated throughout lockdown.

The number of respondents who reported declining mental health decreased over time, which could in part be due to the easing of lockdown measures. Nearly two thirds of respondents felt sad about not being able to see family and friends. • Of those who said they did not need to seek support for their mental health, nearly a third looked to their family and friends. Only 2% overall sought support from a mental health provider. 7.2% of people who sought support for their mental health found this online or via an app.

In terms of what would help people maintain better physical and mental health, there was frequent mention of clearer information being provided, particularly about national government messages. Respondents also talked about the importance of family and friends, support from the community and the workplace, exercise and better access to services.

The research also looked at what had had a positive impact on people’s mental health and wellbeing during lockdown. Around half of all respondents talked about family and friends, and the positive impact of exercise. People also talked about their hobbies and using IT to support their interests and stay connected with others.

 Over half of respondents across both areas stated that they had concerns for the future regarding people observing social distancing rules. Aside from this, the top 4 future concerns related to mental and physical health, money and the economy and education.

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General details

Report title 
Mental health and wellbeing during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Cheshire West and Chester
Date of publication 
Friday, 11 September, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 1 May, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 3 July, 2020
Type of report 
Report
Key themes 
Access
Health protection
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Healthwatch reference number 
Rep-7776

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Yes
What type of organisation requested the work 
Other local body
Primary research method used 
Survey
How was the information collected? 
Survey
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 
N/A

Details of health and care services included in the report

Mental health services 
Community mental health team (CMHT)

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of long term conditions 
Mental health condition

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
1,121
Age group 
Not known
Gender 
Not known
Ethnicity 
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Yes
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Not known
Does the information include staff's views? 
No
Does the information include other people's views? 
No
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Neutral

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
No
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
No
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
 
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
 
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.