The mental health impact of the third national lockdown is having an unequal effect on employees according to new research from Canada Life, with younger workers and working women particularly badly affected.
The survey found employees who were over 55 were more upbeat than younger counterparts.
Canada Life also found that the strain of lockdown was adversely affecting working women with 26 per cent women reported feeling anxious, 20 per cent worried, 21 per cent depressed and 19 per cent stressed about the current rules. These figures were lower amongst men in the survey.
In total half of over 50s said they accepted the lockdown, compared to just a quarter of those in the 18-34 age group. The over 55s were also more optimistic about the vaccine.
When looking across the age groups just one in three people were accepting of the lockdown rules while more than one in five (22 per cent) said they were anxious about the situation.
But despite ongoing concerns, the majority (65 per cent) of full-time workers from home feel more prepared for the current lockdown than previous ones.
One of the ways in which they are doing this is by accessing support services, whether that be strengthening relationships with family and friends (26 per cent), starting to use mindfulness/meditation apps (16 per cent) or using more support from workplace schemes (15 per cent).
The research finds that 18-34 year olds were more than twice (69 per cent) as likely to use a support service to cope better mentally during the first lockdown than over 55s (32 per cent). This trend has been repeated in the latest lockdown, with these figures standing at 78 per cent for 18-34 year olds compared to just 34 per cent of over 55s.
Canada Life director of protection sales Dan Crook says: “It’s no surprise that the effects of a third national lockdown and a year of restrictions has left its mark on the mental health of the nation.
“There is no blueprint, or guide on how to protect your mental health through a pandemic so it’s really important that employers understand the role they play in supporting their workforce.”
He added that it was encouraging to see that the uptake of support services had increased as people look to better equip themslves with the help and guidance they need.
He adds: “It’s equally important that employers highlight such support where possible and raise awareness of it among their workforce, whether that be access to virtual GP services, mental health or burnout prevention, or even nutrition and health coaching.”
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