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Mental health in Catalonia one year into the covid-19 pandemic

Ximena Goldberg, Gemma Castaño-Vinyals y Manolis Kogevinas, Barcelona Institute for Global Health; Rafael de Cid, Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute
Project selected in the Social Research Call 2020

The study on which this article is based looked at how the covid-19 pandemic affected the mental health of more than seven thousand people in Catalonia, Spain, and found that even one year after the pandemic started, many people were still experiencing depression and anxiety. A significant number of people had also experienced traumatic events related to the pandemic, which led to symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Many people recognised that they needed help for their mental health, but did not know where to find it. The study’s findings suggest that more effective responses are needed to address the mental health challenges that future health emergencies may bring.
Key points
  • 1
       Over 25% of participants showed symptoms of moderate or severe depression in 2021.
  • 2
       Over 35% of participants showed symptoms of moderate or severe anxiety in 2021.
  • 3
       Half of those who were severely depressed or severely anxious in 2020 continued to report severe symptoms in 2021.
  • 4
       Post-traumatic stress disorder was highly prevalent one year after the first outbreak of the pandemic.
  • 5
       Preparedness and response guidelines need to include a long-term perspective of the consequences of emergencies.
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