Please note this article mentions the topic of mental health and suicidal ideation and may be distressing for some readers.
One of the hardest challenges of this ongoing global pandemic is living our lives in a state of constant flux.
As a human society, we rallied together to do our best to flatten the curve to slow down the spread of the virus. And it seems to have worked. However, the loss is beyond anyone’s imagination, it is human loss, economic loss, emotional and psychological loss.
Also, the social distancing and quarantine norms force us to stay aloof and isolated, elevating loneliness and anxiety.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with unavoidable nasty surprises – like the form of new variants of the virus and all the “what-ifs”. As a result, stress and anxiety have reached elevated levels taking a toll on mental health.
Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a significant surge in children and young adults seeking mental health treatment in hospitals for anxiety and depression. Many communities are left to manage disproportionately worse mental health outcomes and an increase in substance use.
A survey titled Mental Health, Substance Use and Suicidal Ideation during the Covid-19 Pandemic conducted back in June 2020 in the United States published by the Centres For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) highlights significant findings of the worsening mental health due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. The survey of more than 5000 people who gave consent provided the following results:
- 40.9% of 5,470 respondents reported an adverse mental or behavioural health condition.
- 30.9% included experiencing symptoms of anxiety disorder or depressive disorder.
- 13.3% reported having started or increased substance use to cope with stress or emotions related to COVID-19.
- 10.7% reported having seriously considered suicide in the preceding 30 days.
- 74.9% aged 18-24 years reported at least one adverse mental or behavioural health symptom.
- 52.1% of Hispanic ethnicity reported at least one adverse mental or behavioural health symptom.
- 51.9% ages 25-44 years reported at least one adverse mental or behavioural health symptom.