Giving Compass' Take:

• Survey results from China revealed that those who had more information during COVID-19 felt better and that it can have a positive impact on mental health.

• Why is it essential to pay attention to individuals' mental health during this time? 

• Read more about addressing the mental health crisis during COVID-19. 

Drawing from two large nationwide surveys conducted in China around the time of the coronavirus outbreak, researchers found the onset of the pandemic led to a 74% drop in overall emotional well-being.

Residing near an outbreak epicenter, being a member of a vulnerable group such as the elderly, and dealing with relationship issues during a lockdown were all factors that accentuated the decline.

The researchers note, however, that people who perceived themselves as knowledgeable about the virus—regardless of the actual amount of their knowledge—experienced more happiness during the outbreak than did those who didn’t perceive themselves as informed about COVID-19.

This higher perception of one’s own knowledge associated with a stronger sense of control, which helped protect emotional well-being, says Haiyang Yang, an assistant professor in the Carey Business School at Johns Hopkins University.

“Resources for mental health care should be made more available to groups that are most psychologically vulnerable during an epidemic,” says Yang.

Read the full article about mental health during the pandemic by Patrick Ercolano at Futurity.