A questionnaire survey on around 700 respondents in July in England produces a wide variety of results related to the pandemic. But in this short file of written evidence, I am going to illustrate two of them which are all about the mental health issue.
First, survey results show that parents and their children’s mental health affected by the pandemic are positively related at 0.05 significance level. This could be interpreted as the greater the adverse impact of the pandemic on parents’ mental wellbeing, the greater adverse impact on children’s mental wellbeing would be. This could also be interpreted as the greater the adverse impact of the pandemic on children’s mental wellbeing, the greater adverse impact on parents’ mental wellbeing would be. More studies are needed to find out which of the above two interpretations is correct. But irrespective of whichever is correct, there is a potential long-term mental health issue which would linger on after the pandemic as our next generation’s mental health has been worse off post-pandemic no matter whether this is directly caused by the pandemic or indirectly caused by the worsening mental wellbeing of their parents.
Second, the survey results indicate that age and mental health are significantly related at 0.05 significance level. Specifically and possibly unexpectedly, the higher the age a respondent has, the less adverse impact on mental health that the pandemic has brought. Our older generation may benefit from their experience to be more able to deal with the pandemic than our younger counterpart. This result again indicate a potential long-term mental health issue of our country in that younger people’s mental health has been worsen by the pandemic and this worsening is more serious than their older counterpart.
This research project is still in the final writing up stage. But due to the 31 August deadline by which written evidence of potential long-term impacts of the pandemic should be submitted, I feel I should submit the above two unpublished fresh results today as in my view they can indicate potentially important long-term impacts on mental health of our younger generation and children directly or indirectly caused by the pandemic.
31 August 2020