‘Widespread’ concerns over pandemic’s impact on mental health, report claims

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‘Widespread’ concerns over pandemic’s impact on mental health, report claims

Work Avenue study shows half of those polled are worse off financially due to the lockdown, while 52 percent say concerns have caused mental health difficulties

A pre-pandemic career networking evening at Work Avenue in Finchley
A pre-pandemic career networking evening at Work Avenue in Finchley

The pandemic has hit three-quarters of London’s Jewish community hard according to a report, triggering mental health worries in more than half of those it surveyed.

The poll, taken by Work Avenue, represents “a cross-section of British Jews” and shows the impact of Covid-19, with 50 percent worse off financially than before the coronavirus hit the economy. 

Three-quarters have seen employment or business suffer, with 52 percent saying employment or business worries caused mental health difficulties. Only 25 percent avoided any problems at all.

“These statistics are shocking, but not that surprising,” said Work Avenue’s chief executive Debbie Sheldon. “Half of those we asked, within our Jewish community, are now financially worse off than before the pandemic and a similar number have struggled with mental health because of it.”

In findings similar to those of a survey commissioned by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, one in ten reported being better off as a result of the pandemic, and in a glimmer of good news, more than a third said they felt optimistic about the future.

However, residual issues may be felt for years, said Laurie Rackind, chief executive of mental health charity Jami.  

“This pandemic has dramatically changed the way we live and, for many of us, has had a detrimental effect on our mental health and wellbeing,” he said. “Health and economic pressures combined with uncertainty and social restrictions have ensured that the mental health impact of Covid will be felt long after the physical threat disappears. 

“Raising awareness and promoting conversations around mental health is a vital step to ensuring those who need support will get it.”

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