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Virus crisis has negative effect on mental health, says survey

Published on 08/07/2020

The coronavirus crisis has had a negative effect on Switzerland’s mental health, a survey in the German speaking part of the country has confirmed.

Out of 9,279 people questioned, 47% said that the crisis had adversely affected their morale, 31% said it had not really had an impact on their mental health, and 22% replied that it had had a positive effect. A majority of women (51%) considered the impact negative, compared with 45% of men.

It also found that the younger people were, the more they felt their mental state negatively affected by the crisis. The older they were, the less they felt it had an effect in this way.

The survey was conducted by the Sotomo institute for the NGO Health Promotion Switzerland, as part of a mental health campaign that also encourages people to express their feelings.

More emotions

This survey found that people had experienced a greater range of emotions than usual in recent months, although still only a minority felt comfortable talking about them.

An analysis of 46 emotions covered by the survey found that love, joy and feelings of internal security were the most frequently mentioned positive emotions, while mistrust and despair were the most frequently felt negative ones.

While the survey covered only German-speaking parts of the country, “one may wonder whether the emotions and feelings of people in the French and Italian speaking regions were different”, commented Florence Nater, director of the Coordination for francophone mental health associations. She told Swiss news agency Keystone-SDA that the level of negative emotions and feelings of insecurity may have been greater in those regions, which were hit more strongly by the pandemic.