Women were more likely than men to feel the adverse impacts of Covid on their mental health
The UAE government’s decision to gradually ease covid restrictions in the country comes as a great relief for the mental health of residents, who for the past two years have been coping with social distancing, isolation, and anxiety associated with the pandemic. YouGov’s international study from October 2021 shows more than half of UAE residents (54%) reported that the pandemic has had an adverse impact on their mental health.
Data from the study shows that the numbers reporting a negative effect of the crisis on their mental health have remained the same over the past two years (54% in 2021 and 55% in 2020). Having said that, the proportion of people reporting a positive impact has seen a slight increase (from 14% to 19%) but those who report no impact are far or less the same number (23% to 20%).
This study, which includes 17 countries and over 19,000 respondents, reveals that in the UAE, the negative impact of the pandemic on people’s mental health was comparable across age groups, except for the older adults aged 55+, who were less likely to report negative mental health impacts. Among genders, women were more likely than men to feel the adverse impacts of Covid on their mental health (63% vs 50%).
Although improvement in people’s mental health has been slow in the UAE, globally the country ranks much lower than others on the list of nations where people claim to have a negative impact of the crisis on their mental health.
Furthermore, when the results are compared to the 2020 iteration of the study, data shows that Asian countries like Singapore (from 54% in 2020 to 61% in 2021) and Indonesia (57% to 63%) have registered the largest increase in the proportion of people who say that their mental health has suffered a negative impact. On the other hand, the European markets like Sweden (54% to 45%), France (57% to 49%) and Denmark (51% to 44%) noted the largest declines. In comparison to this, UAE’s position is more favourable than most Asian nations.
Interviews were conducted online between 2 – 11 November 2020 among 21,901 adults, and between 20 September – 1 October 2021 among 19,114 adults.