The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Mental Health: Evidence from Cyprus
The aim of the current study was to examine mental health effects of the first wave of COVID-19 (Corona Virus Disease-19) in Cyprus. Accordingly, 388 individuals aged 18–65+ responded to the Components of Mental Health Questionnaire that was distributed via social media for two weeks assessing how emotional distress, support and interest in self and others, lifestyle changes, engagement in protective measures, and avoidant behaviors were related to participants’ gender, age, and place of residency. Additionally, we measured the level of concern of individuals during and after the first wave outbreak of the pandemic. The results suggest that (a) females experience higher levels of anxiety, stress, fear, worry, and despair than males and are more likely to undertake protective measures, (b) older individuals and those who live in urban areas perceive greater social support and interest in the emotional experience of significant others, (c) emotional distress and support and interest in self and others are associated with all other variables, indicating the importance of these constructs to the experience of a pandemic, and (d) there was a decrease in participants’ concern after the end of the first wave of the pandemic. Mental health professionals could find this information useful when developing and implementing prevention programs that aim to offer psychological support during this stressful period.