The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic recession have negatively affected many people’s mental health and created new barriers for people already suffering from mental illness and substance use disorders. During the pandemic, about 4 in 10 adults in the U.S. have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder, a share that has been largely consistent, up from one in ten adults who reported these symptoms from January to June 2019 (Figure 1). The KFF Health Tracking Poll from July 2020 also found that many adults are reporting specific negative impacts on their mental health and well-being, such as difficulty sleeping (36%) or eating (32%), increases in alcohol consumption or substance use (12%), and worsening chronic conditions (12%), due to worry and stress over the coronavirus. As the pandemic wears on, ongoing and necessary public health measures expose many people to experiencing situations linked to poor mental health outcomes such as isolation and job loss.
We are living in unprecedented times, people are suffering, we are isolated and although there is a light at the end of the tunnel, many of these adverse reactions may linger for a long-time. Please seek help if you are experiencing any signs of depression/mental illness, you aren’t alone! Stay the course, stay well, mask up, get vaccinated, and stay tuned!