Why the coronavirus is worse for the mental health of mothers | Torsten Bell | Opinion

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TThe Covid-19 crisis has brought about huge changes in the economy, in the way and where people work. Hence the argument over if and when we return to the office. But this crisis has also turned our personal lives upside down, with the scale of the change creating stress.Research reveals the scale of the challenge to our mental health. UK data shows nearly 20% of us report symptoms of depression, double the pre-pandemic norm.

It matters. We know that poor mental health and unhappiness make us less productive at work and contribute to relationship breakdown.

Everyone is affected, but not everyone is affected in the same way. For those aged 16 to 39, the proportion of people reporting symptoms of depression almost tripled to 30%. German research gives us additional information on the causes of this disaster, comparing the well-being of parents and non-parents. The two groups had similar trends before the crisis, but parents saw a greater decline in their well-being once schools and child care providers closed.

The well-being of mothers is the most affected, which corresponds to a larger research showing that, while women were not more likely to lose their jobs than men, mothers do so more than fathers. part because they face the biggest burden of foreclosure – child custody.

Lesson? This week’s return to school is crucial for the future of our children, but also for the well-being of many parents here and now.

Torsten Bell is Managing Director of the Resolution Foundation. Learn more at resolutionfoundation.org

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