Recent studies reveal impact of COVID-19 on mental health

COVID and mental health

Recent studies from the province and the University of British Columbia reveal the negative impact COVID-19 has had and is continuing to have on mental health. 

The UBC study, compiled between March and April this year, showed adults aged 60 and up fared better emotionally during the pandemic when compared to younger and middle-aged adults, who are struggling. 

Daily diary data showed despite being considered high-risk for the virus itself, older adults felt less stress and threatened by the pandemic. 

“Our findings provide new evidence that older adults are emotionally resilient despite public discourse often portraying their vulnerability. We also found that younger adults are at greater risk for loneliness and psychological distress during the pandemic,” says Patrick Klaiber, the study’s lead author.

At a news conference on Jul. 20, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry shared the results of the B.C. COVID-19 Population Health Survey: Your Story, Our Future. 

It suggested the same trend - that younger people were struggling the most with mental health challenges, and that a "significant proportion" of B.C. residents felt they had experienced worsening mental health. 

Reasons included heightened anxiety over the virus, fear of job loss and the challenges of caring for family. 

Vernon-based parenting and relationship expert Aly Pain say the pandemic has added significant stress to a range of life challenges that existed prior to COVID-19.

"We're kidding ourselves to say life wasn't already stressful, but then you add a pandemic and the parents are so either distracted and/or genuinely they're too stressed out to connect or listen. 

"Teenagers are going through a myriad of emotions - one of the major ones being a sense of isolation because of the cancellation of school, sports, lockdown ... the lack of connection is devastating for them because it's such a formative part of life."

She recently posted a TikTok video to assist parents in helping teens who are unable to voice their mental health issues, and assist with their children's anxiety. 

With the recent outbreaks in Kelowna and exposure events happening across town, Castanet hit the streets to find out whether locals think people are developing a sense of paranoia, or keeping calm. 

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