Pension & Benefits News Americans face greater mental health challenges from COVID-19 than those in other nations
Thursday, September 3, 2020

Americans face greater mental health challenges from COVID-19 than those in other nations

By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff

Compared to residents of nine other high-income countries, people in the United States are experiencing greater mental health challenges from COVID-19, and they are less happy with their national leaders, according to a recent report from the Commonwealth Fund.

The analysis, Do Americans Face Greater Mental Health and Economic Consequences from COVID-19? Comparing the U.S. with Other High-Income Countries, provides country-specific data on people’s experiences during the early months of COVID-19 (March through May) in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

The survey found the following:

  • Americans are more likely to report mental health concerns since the start of the pandemic. Thirty-three percent of U.S. adults reported stress, anxiety, and great sadness that was difficult to cope with by themselves, compared to about a quarter or less in other countries.
  • More than 30 percent of U.S. respondents said they have struggled economically and were unable to pay for basic necessities, used up all their savings, or borrowed money, a significantly greater percentage than in any other country.
  • Americans are the least likely to have a positive opinion of the national government’s pandemic response. Only 33 percent of U.S. adults said President Donald Trump has done a “good” or “very good” job of handling the coronavirus pandemic. In the other countries, between 49 percent and 95 percent of respondents approved of how their president or prime minister has dealt with the crisis.


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