A recent international survey found people in the United States are struggling more than people in other wealthy nations amid the global pandemic.
As the United States continues to grapple with controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans across the country are battling an increase in loneliness, unemployment, health risk, and multitude of other issues.
To gain a better understanding of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on adults in the United States and around the world, the Commonwealth Fund partnered with survey research firm SSRS to interview 8,259 adults age 18 and older between March and May 2020.
Through their analysis, released earlier this month, researchers found Americans are more likely than people in other countries to report mental health concerns. In fact, one-third of American adults said they experienced stress, anxiety, or great sadness that was difficult to cope with alone since the outbreak of COVID-19.
Of the adults who reported mental health concerns and needed and wanted to receive care from a professional, only one in three in the U.S. and the U.K. were able to get help, whereas, approximately half of Australians and Canadians were able to receive help.
On top of mental health concerns, many U.S. adults also experience negative economic consequences from COVID-19. More than 30 percent of U.S. adults said they’ve faced negative economic effects from the pandemic, including being unable to pay for basic necessities such as food, heat, or rent; or forced to use up most of their personal savings, borrow money, or take out a loan. Similar reports came from Canada (24 percent) and Australia (21 percent), however, German and Dutch adults reported much lower rates (6 percent and 7 percent, respectively).
Other key findings from the report:
- Approximately one-quarter of adults in Australia, Canada, and the U.S. reported losing a job or source of income due to the pandemic, whereas only 7 percent to 8 percent reported similar experiences in France, Germany, and the Netherlands
- Fifty-six percent of U.S. adults who reported negative economic consequences from the pandemic also reported struggling with mental health
- Thirty-three percent of U.S. adults felt President Trump has done a “good” or “very good” job handling the COVID-19 pandemic, whereas, in other countries 49 percent of adults reported positive views of how their president, prime minister, or central government has dealt with the pandemic
- Most respondents, regardless of their country, felt health care practitioners have done a “good” or “very good” job responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the lowest percentage in Sweden (78 percent) followed by the U.S. (83 percent) and Canada (85 percent)
“As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths in the U.S. continues to swell, national, state, and local policymakers would be wise to look abroad for lessons learned and innovative strategies for dealing with the coronavirus,” wrote Commonwealth Fund researchers.