Overlooking the benefits of counseling and therapy right now could have dire mental health consequences in the short and long-term. The numbers sadly speak for themselves. Please reach out to a counselor or therapist near you for help wherever you reside – Naperville, IL or elsewhere.
Quantifying Mental Health Impacts in the time of COVID-19:
It is not surprising that people are having some trouble dealing with things since the coronavirus lockdown.
The data suggest we have more than one pandemic going on. One is covid-19. The other is its impact on our mental health.
And that’s a disease we can’t overlook.
According to the Household Pulse Survey — a kind of report card for mental health during the pandemic accumulated by the National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau — the impacts are widespread.
The first block of data came starting April 23, about six weeks after Pennsylvania locked down. It showed a nation where 35.9% of respondents were reporting depression or anxiety. The latest reports ended July 21, with those reports up to 40.9%.
That’s not great. What’s more upsetting is the demographic breakdowns.
Anxiety and depression are more pronounced in ever younger groups. Despite most covid-19 deaths occurring in the oldest segments of the population, only 17.5% of those over 80 are reporting mental health impact. The numbers rise in steps, hitting 53.4% of those 18-29 years old.
But there aren’t numbers for kids. Does that mean kids aren’t being affected?
We can extrapolate a little data from a different report. The Safe2Say Something tip line in Pennsylvania gave kids in school a way to call in help for things such as bullying and threats, as well as mental health issues.
From July 2019 to March 13, 17% of calls received were related to suicide and self-harm. Then Gov. Tom Wolf ordered schools closed. For the next three months, 37% of calls were about those harmful behaviors or threats.
Self-harm and suicidal ideation calls more than doubling in three months is alarming, especially when before the pandemic, suicide already was the second leading cause of death among those 15 to 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While there are lots of things that we can ponder about the effects of quarantine, many are long term. Will tourism rebound? How will retail look down the road?
We can’t afford to let our mental health — and more importantly, that of our kids — be something we think about only after it becomes a problem. It has to be a priority and the response has to be proactive.
Source: TribLive; Editorial: Mental health must be pandemic priority