As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its ninth month, the U.S. workforce remains at significantly elevated risks for mental conditions, and their brain capacities continue to be negatively affected. Stress and anxiety levels are up 19% and 28% respectively over pre-COVID levels. Feelings of depression are up 32% since February and the ability to focus has decreased by 27% since September. In previous months, we’ve seen that the mental health of those aged 20-39 has been notably worse than older segments of the working population, and we’ve noted that women remained at greater risk than men. This month’s data, however, shows a troubling trend. The negative impact on men’s mental health is rising, and is now, in some cases, on par with or worse than that of women. Since the end of August, men’s risk of general anxiety disorder and depressive disorder is up 55% and 69% respectively. Also of note, men have seen a sharp increase in stress levels by 20% since August.
Overall data suggests a continued adaptation to the increased strains brought on by COVID-19, with mental health risks holding steady and even improving slightly among women in some cases.
Worst: A deeper look into the data shows that while women are holding steady or improving, men’s mental health risks are rising and are nearing levels not seen since the onset of the pandemic.
Every: In all cases, the risk of mental conditions, and the negative impact on workers’ brain capacities remains significantly elevated.
Risk for general anxiety disorder is 51% higher than pre-COVID.
Risk for depressive disorder is 65% higher than pre-COVID.
Since the end of August, men’s risk of general anxiety disorder has increased 55%.
Men’s risk of depressive disorder has increased 69% since August and is now worse than that of women for the first time since we began monitoring.
Stress levels in men have increased 20% since August.
Males’ conscious negativity bias has increased 12% since August.