The Office of National Statistics' most recent report into coronavirus (published on 9 April 2021), and its impact on people with disabilities, reveals that stress and anxiety levels remain higher than for non-disabled people.
Using data collected during the latest national lockdown in February 2021,the ONS discovered that 78% of disabled people said they were worried about the effect of Covid-19 on their life. For non-disabled people, this figure was lower at 69%.
In terms of well-being, the impact of coronavirus continues to have a greater negative impact on people with disabilities. Survey respondents indicated that the pandemic:
- makes their mental health worse (46% for disabled people and 29% for non-disabled people)
- they are feeling like a burden on others (25% and 10%)
- they are feeling stressed and anxious (67% and 54%)
- they are feeling lonely (49% and 37%)
- they spend too much time alone (42% and 31%)
- they have no one to talk to about their worries (24% and 16%)
Disabled people had on average poorer well-being ratings than non-disabled people across all four well-being measures (life satisfaction, feeling that things done in life are worthwhile, happiness and anxiety).
For both disabled and non-disabled people, life satisfaction and happiness ratings were poorer in February 2021 than in September 2020; compared with a period prior to the coronavirus pandemic (in the year ending June 2019), all well-being ratings of disabled and non-disabled people remained poorer in February 2021.
Disabled people tended to be less optimistic than non-disabled people about life returning to normal in the short term: around a fifth (20%) of disabled people compared with over a quarter (27%) of non-disabled people thought that life will return to normal in less than six months.
Useful easy-read mental health resources for those with learning disabilities:
Feeling Down: Looking After My Mental Health
Foundation for people with learning disabilities
Good Days and Bad Days During Lockdown
University of Glasgow
Feeling Anxious about Coronavirus
University of Glasgow
Further information on the above guides: https://www.scld.org.uk/covid-19-guided-self-help-booklet-series/
Useful mental health resources for those with physical, sensory and learning disabilities:
Disability and Mental Health
The Outsiders Trust: Peer Support and Dating for Disabled People
Resources for carers: