High Anxiety: 83% Of Americans Feel 'Stressed and Overwhelmed' Since COVID-19 Arrival

Pandemic-weary Americans are seeking treatment for mental health woes in vast numbers, according to a new study from agency Oberland and Guardian Labs, part of publisher Guardian US.

The report is based on a survey of 500 households with incomes under $100,000 that was conducted with online research platform Suzy.

The survey found that 83% of those polled felt “stressed and/or overwhelmed” since the arrival of COVID-19, while 45% have sought out mental health help.

The study also found that brand loyalty has eroded during the pandemic. Per the survey, 50% of those polled have changed brands for at least some of their needs during the crisis with close to 25% saying they’re now buying more generic store products.

“If COVID-19 has a silver lining, it’s the normalizing of talking and seeking treatment for mental-health issues,” said Oberland Co-Founder and President Drew Train, a member of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City and advocate for mental health in the workplace.



The report found that 76% of respondents feel more empathetic toward people going through mental health challenges during the crisis.

Marketers that acknowledge consumer anxiety will be winners, the study concludes. “Coronavirus is having a significant impact on consumer behavior,” said Train. “Brands that lead with heart and act with empathy, that make themselves more down-to-earth and honest will better be able to reclaim their loyal consumer base post COVID-19.”

Price breaks will help too, with the survey finding that 49% expect brands to provide such breaks. And 41% indicated they will support brands that provide initiatives to protect employees.

The survey found that 63% of respondents won’t feel comfortable going to a concert  or sporting event for at least three months after the country re-opens. A little more than half (56%) said they’ll go out when activities resume but only about one-third (35%) believe they’ll travel within the first month of reduced restrictions.

The full report is available here.

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