86% of adult Filipinos stressed over COVID-19 — SWS
MANILA, Philippines — An overwhelming majority of Filipino adults — 86 percent — have admitted that they have been stressed over the prevalence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed.
In its report released on Thursday, SWS noted that the 86 percent mark, which consists of 58 percent of the respondents saying that they had “great stress” and 27 percent “much stress,” is one percentage point higher than the results they obtained last July.
In contrast, only 14 percent of the respondents felt a little stress or no stress at all.
The survey, conducted from September 17 to 20, also revealed that stress levels are higher among those who experienced involuntary hunger during the height of the pandemic.
At least 69 percent of people who experienced being hungry once or more in the past few months had great stress, 21 percent with much stress — somewhat higher compared to data among those who never went hungry, where 53 percent experienced great stress and 30 percent experience much stress.
Still, employment was not a factor in stress: 58 percent of the respondents have jobs during the pandemic, and also 58 percent of those who do not have a job anymore or those who have been jobless experienced great stress.
Similarly, 27 percent each of those who have jobs and those without work felt much stress.
As the COVID-19 pandemic affected every facet of normal life — from closing schools, religious institutions, stopping work and travel to avoid possible transmissions — several groups warned about a possible rise in mental illnesses.
Even the World Health Organization, which has focused on helping eradicate the virus, stressed that the pandemic has taken a huge toll on mental health because restrictions prevent people from working on their daily routine.
In the country, several groups warned that the possible spike in domestic abuse, coupled with a lack of access to education modes may bring about a spike in suicide incidents.
Before classes opened, several student groups asked the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education to suspend the incoming school year as there were reports of students engaging in self-harm out of frustration with the lack of gadgets and a stable internet connection.
Recently, the Commission on Human Rights warned that the numbers of mental health patients may increase with more factors emerging — like hunger, poverty, and unemployment.
Last Monday, SWS released another survey which showed that unemployment rates has decreased slightly, but remains at a high level.
SWS said that the surveys were conducted using mobile phones and computer-assisted interviews of 1,249 adult Filipinos, divided according to the population density of an area — 328 from Balance Luzon, 309 from Metro Manila, 312 in Mindanao, and 300 in the Visayas.
The survey firm said it maintains a sampling error margin of ±3% for national percentages, ±6% for Metro Manila, ±5% for Balance Luzon, ±6% for the Visayas, and ±6% for Mindanao. [ac]
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