The state of the nation: mental health in decline

Wednesday 12 May 2021
Kooth used their unique position to provide insights into the pandemic’s impact on mental wellbeing – here are their findings
Two people holding hands

Kooth, the longest-established digital mental health provider in the UK, has been busy over the past year, collecting data on mental health from its users. Their challenge was to track the most-searched topics and terms in order to find out what areas of mental health had been most impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. In doing so, they could not only help their own service users better by allocating the right amount of time and resources to the right places, but can help organisations have a better understanding of what may be affecting their employees.

This all resulted in the Kooth Pulse Report 2021.

“We wanted to do more than just publish data and say that there is a pending problem. Voices of Kooth brings together user data from Kooth, case studies and commentary from Kooth service users, other reports and information published in response to the pandemic,” says Sir Norman Lamb, chair of the Kooth advisory board. “Most importantly we have worked with leading experts from the Kooth Advisory Board and beyond to examine what these insights mean and practical solutions for 2021 and beyond.”

CMI has also surveyed its managers to see how well they and their teams are coping. Our results align with Kooth’s research: 44% of managers’ mental health has got worse as a result of the pandemic and 56% of them believe that the employees in their organisations have suffered the same effects. Thankfully, this led to 72% of managers making mental health a top priority in the coming months, especially as we navigate returning to work. This was one of the many reasons behind CMI’s decision to partner with Kooth and offer all of our members access to their mental health resources.

There has been a 73% upsurge in usage of Kooth since March 2020, directly correlating to the Covid-19 pandemic. With the long reaching effects of the pandemic predicted, this is expected to only increase further.

“I believe that the next pandemic is our mental health one,” says Dr Sandeep Ranote, Psychiatrist and Eating Disorder Expert. “Kooth has a vital role to play in this with its ability to deliver digital early intervention and continued on-line therapies.”

Top-level learnings

While the focus for many organisations has been to preserve business continuity and protect the health and safety of employees, the emotional and mental health of their workers is a factor they can no longer afford to ignore. Kooth’s data reveals the profound impact Covid-19 had had on adult mental health:

  • For 10 out of 12 months in 2020, anxiety/stress was worse than the same months in 2019
  • Sadness in 2020 is significantly higher than the same months in 2019 (despite a slight decline in December 2020)
  • In December 2020, 28% of all presenting issue adults were experiencing suicidal thoughts
  • There has been a 53.87% increase in the number of Kooth users reporting that their ability to work has been severely impaired in 2020 compared to 2019

Mental healthcare providers like Kooth can offer digital tools that empowers employees to access high-quality mental health care conveniently and easily on their own time. This report covers many more interesting statistics – read the full, in-depth research here.

CMI members now have full access to Kooth’s fantastic resources as part of their membership. Log in and see how we can support you today.

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