Mental distress in Australia over the course of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic

Melbourne Institute Research Insight No. 24/20

Date: October 2020


Ferdi Botha
Peter Butterworth
Roger Wilkins


Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of factors have increased the levels of mental distress in Australians. Fears for one's health and the wellbeing of their friends and family, combined with the economic shock from the pandemic have left many feeling more anxious. As circumstances change across the country - particularly in regards to the number of reported cases of COVID-19 - it is expected that people's feelings of distress will also shift. In this Research Insight, Dr Ferdi Botha, Professor Peter Butterworth and Professor Roger Wilkins from the Melbourne Institute, investigate whether changes in Australians’ mental distress correspond to changes in the previous week’s COVID-19 case numbers, from the week beginning on 6 April to the week beginning on 6 July.

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