UK lockdown anxiety more widespread for females and young people

For Mental Health Awareness Week we researched people's reflections on lockdowns in the UK and the effect on their emotional wellbeing.

Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 (10-16 May, UK) gives us a much-needed chance to focus on our emotional wellbeing and take steps to improve our way of life. 

The last year has taken a particular toll on everyone so this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is more crucial than ever. We wanted to find out how people in the UK are feeling as they come out of (hopefully!) the final lockdown and to find out how people reflect on the pandemic. 

We ran a survey using the Attest platform to 500 working age adults in the UK – here are the key results

People coped better during the first lockdown

We asked people to reflect on the UK’s two main lockdowns (March-Jun 2020 and Jan-May 2021) and how well they feel they coped emotionally through both. Overall 38% of people said they coped well during both lockdowns, and more people coped better during the first lockdown compared to the second (25.7% compared to 18.2%). A sizeable 18% of people said they struggled equally with both lockdowns.

Younger generation feel more anxious due to UK lockdowns

Between generations, the difference is alarming. In the 18-35-year-olds age group 20.7% of people coped well, compared to 48.5% of 36-65-year-olds. Our research also revealed that the higher people’s level of education is, the better they coped emotionally through the lockdowns. And just 14.6% of students feel they’ve coped well, compared to the overall average of 38%.

Older generation more adjusted to a post-pandemic world

Some people (11.5%) did say they feel less anxious overall now than they did before the pandemic. When asked about the reasons for this decrease, the generational difference pops up again. Younger people whose anxiety has decreased put it down to excitement about getting back to normal life (69.2% of 18-35-year-olds compared to 25.8% of 36-65-year-olds). The reverse is true for people who feel they’ve got used to a post-pandemic world (just 23.1% of 18-35-year-olds say this is the reason for their decreased anxiety compared to 51.6% of 36-65-year-olds). 

Females feeling more anxious than males

The difference between UK males and females has been stark. 51.3% of males told us they coped well during both lockdowns; just 25.5% of females said the same. Females also said they generally feel more anxious now than they did before the pandemic: 60.3% of females said this compared to 45% of males. And interestingly for people whose anxiety has increased during the pandemic, more females than males said this was due to being at home making them less socially confident: 55.2% of females and 36.1% of males.

See the full insights from this survey.

Marcus Evans

Senior Content Marketing Manager 

See all articles by Marcus