CDC study sheds new light on mental health crisis linked to coronavirus pandemic
The Covid-19 crisis has brought with it a mental health crisis in the U.S., and new CDC data shows just how broad the pandemic’s impact on mental health might be. The survey found that almost 41% of respondents are struggling with mental health issues stemming from the pandemic. When it comes to the new study, “this is a virtual real-time biopsy of the American mental health experience. So I appreciate you can criticize this study for being internet-based. You can criticize this study for not having formal diagnostic interviews. But you can conclusively say the adults are not alright in America,” said Dr. Ken Duckworth, CMO of NAMI, who was not involved in the study. “We are in August and this is a biopsy of almost 6,000 people from June,” he said. “There’s a mental health crisis resulting from this pandemic.” Looking ahead, Duckworth said that he would be interested to see follow-up data on what some people who otherwise would be at high risk for mental health consequences of the pandemic — such as essential workers or caregivers — are doing to not experience certain mental health symptoms compared with their peers who have reported symptoms. Duckworth also added that the new findings align with previous studies, which found symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorders increased considerably in the U.S. between April and June compared with the same period last year — and call volumes to NAMI have gone up, he said. “If you’re a state policy director, if you’re a mental health commissioner, if you run a health plan, you need to know this information. There’s a whole subset of people — caregivers, people with pre-existing conditions, people of color, essential workers — these people are going to need mental health support,” Duckworth said.