The proportion of people with depression in Britain nearly doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic, official data showed on Tuesday.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said 19% of adults reported some form of depression in June, up from 10% in the nine months to March 2020. Stress and anxiety were the most common types of depression. currents listed by people, he said.

The data raise questions about the broader public health costs of a pandemic that has already left Britain with the highest excess mortality rate among major European countries, according to a recent ONS analysis.

Adults who were young, female, disabled or unable to afford an unforeseen expense were the most vulnerable to depression during the pandemic, the figures show.

“This ONS report presents disturbing data on the rise in depressive symptoms during the pandemic,” said Elaine Fox, professor of cognitive and affective psychology at the University of Oxford.

Adults who told the ONS that they would be unable to afford an unexpected expense of 850 pounds ($ 1,119) were more likely to experience some form of depression, the data showed.

“These economic factors are likely to play an important role in the mental health of the country in the months and years to come,” Fox said.

The economy has already suffered a historic blow from the pandemic and the national lockdown it brought about in March.

A 2018 study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development estimated the cost of mental health problems in Britain at around 4% of its annual economic output.

One in eight adults developed moderate to severe depression during the pandemic, according to the ONS. Only one in 25 saw an improvement.

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