A year ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a pandemic situation due to COVID-19. This fact caused direct changes in customs and social relations, as well as a new employment situation due to teleworking and the closure of several companies.
This whole situation has highlighted the importance of emotional well-being. As the Sanitas emotional well-being study confirms, a third of Spaniards say the situation caused by the pandemic directly affected their emotional health. The population is showing greater signs of anxiety, depression and fatigue, symptoms that the WHO has defined as pandemic fatigue.
Sanitas emotional well-being study finds 37% of Spaniards suffered from feelings of angst and uncertainty in the last year, which was more significant in women and young people aged 25-35 years. In addition, for 56% of the population, the development prospects for 2021 are mostly uncertain and frightening as the stated goals are not met, as well as apathy, attitudes which are more manifested by women over the years. . Men’s.
Social relations, family and teleworking thanks to COVID-19
The study also shows that the security measures imposed against COVID-19 directly affected the social relations of Spaniards. Among the most felt effects, seeing family (77%) and friends (74%) less than usual stands out.
One in four respondents say they have become a more lonely person, and 9% suffer more from arguments and conflicts with their family environment. In addition, one in ten people comment that the fear of contagion has caused their self-containment and that it only affects people when it is strictly necessary.
On the other hand, a large part of the population has seen their employment situation modified, either because of the closure of their business, the loss of it or the adaptation to telework. In the latter case, the Sanitas study shows that 42% of Spaniards who teleworked saw their emotional well-being affected as a result of this situation. This is due to various reasons such as the decrease in social relations (52.4%), combining children’s attention with professional life (21.3%) or the need for face-to-face work to develop their full potential. (36.6%). On the positive side, 16% say that teleworking has allowed them to increase their relationship with their family and therefore improve their mental health.
Regarding families with children, 54% of them say that their children have been affected by the most restrictive measures, which has caused changes in their behavior. In this sense, a quarter say that their child was more irritable and 20% that he was more unruly. In contrast, sadness (16%) and apathy (15%) also had a presence in the smallest of the house.
Importance of emotional well-being for the population
“The situation has led society to bring to the table the importance of emotional well-being and mental health care. In fact, there are already seven in ten Spaniards who consider it just as important to take care of mental health in the same way as other health care, and it is noteworthy that two in ten think that the Emotional well-being is more important because it influences general health and requires professional care when needed, ”says Diana Camn, psychologist at Mente Sana de Sanitas.
Despite these data, only 7% of Spaniards sought professional help to improve their emotional well-being, which is more common among young people between the ages of 25 and 35. In addition, 5% say they have considered it and will do so soon. However, the majority of Spaniards say they find no obstacles to going to a professional (67%), and among those who do, the main reason is the cost (23%).
In line with this increase in the social importance of emotional health care, Sanitas carried out more than 55,000 psychology video consultations last year, which means a 17-fold increase in those carried out in 2019 when just over 3,200 were recorded. In addition, in the months of January and February 2021, more than 15,800 video consultations in this specialty were carried out, while in the same months of 2020, when the pandemic situation had not yet been declared, there were to barely more than 800 consultations. digital psychology.
Last year, given the importance that emotional well-being began to have for the population, Sanitas created the BluaU Mente Sana Digital Complement, a new product, in addition to health policy, focused on mental health care that provides digital access to a team. specialized psychologists, with no limit on sessions, with protocol-based programs, and with the possibility of accessing personalized professional help by telephone or video consultation. In addition, Mente Sana integrates all the digital advantages of the company such as video consultation with specialists in all specialties and emergencies 24 hours a day, personalized and exclusive health plans, or a physiotherapist at home, among others. . This product has already been outsourced by over a thousand customers, 40% of registrations are between 30 and 50 years old, and 60% are women, which coincides with the fact that men and over 50s are more reluctant to seek professional help for emotional care.