Last responders: Mental health damage from Covid could last a generation, professionals say

Aside from the obvious physical impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, health professionals have told CNBC that many people are struggling with the immense emotional and societal changes it has brought. What’s more, they’re finding it hard to adapt to a “new normal” now that lockdowns are starting to ease. 

One study looked at the global prevalence of depression and anxiety disorders in 204 countries and territories in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic. It found that mental health dramatically declined in that year, with an estimated 53 million additional cases of major depressive disorders and 76 million additional cases of anxiety disorders seen globally. Women and younger people were found to be affected more than men and older adults. 

“There’s definitely a huge mental health impact from a long period of uncertainty and change that’s left people very isolated and not sure how to connect. Just being out in public and interacting in a very casual way with strangers or mild acquaintances, that’s very regulating, and norm-creating and reality affirming.”