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New study highlights need for urgent investment in mental health services

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More than half of adults believe the coronavirus pandemic has had a negative impact on mental health, a major study has revealed.

The research, published by the Social Mobility Commission, underlines existing research suggesting the need for urgent investment in mental health services.

According to the poll, more than one in two (55 per cent) adults believe the pandemic has had the “most impact” on mental health, while more than two in five (44 per cent) think the coronavirus has heavily impacted social interaction.

Women and those between the age of 25 and 49 were “most likely” to report a mental health-related impact, while men and those over the age of 65 are “least likely”, the report adds.

Furthermore, 46 per cent of Brits say addressing people’s mental health should be the “top priority” for the Government’s recovery programme.

The study also found that over half the public (56 per cent) think the pandemic has increased social inequality, while 74 per cent of people think there is now an even larger gap in opportunities across Britain.

The findings have been published as part of the Social Mobility Barometer 2021, an annual measurement of public perceptions.

The survey comes after separate research found that almost a third (30 per cent) of young people in the UK experienced poor mental health during the first national lockdown, indicating that the lockdown has had a “detrimental effect” on young people’s mental health.

The latest figures suggest that around one in four people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year, with the most common illnesses being anxiety and depression.