Mental Health America Data Shows Impacts of COVID-19 on Mental Health
By Deasia Lamar, Communications Intern
As many Americans cope with anxiety and depression during these uncertain times, NHC member Mental Health America (MHA) is dedicated to monitoring the mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
MHA has collected data through the use of screening programs and interviews to uncover broad patterns of anxiety and depression in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The results are a real-time indicator of the mental health impacts.
MHA has found that the screening results are generally consistent with recent US Census data, leading MHA professionals to believe that this research is representative of general populations as well. So far, MHA has screened nearly 5 million Americans for anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions beginning in 2014. Here are some of the MHA’s topline results:
- As of May, per day anxiety screenings increased by 370% over January.
- More than 34,312 additional screeners have anxiety since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
- In April, per day depression screenings increased by 394% over January
- Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-to-late February, there have been at least 88,405 additional positive depression and anxiety screening results over what had been expected (using November 2019-January 2020 average as a baseline).
- Alarmingly, more than 21,000 people considered self-harm or suicide in May.
- Special populations are experiencing high anxiety and depression, including LGBTQ, caregivers, students, veterans/active duty, and people with chronic health conditions.
- People with pre-existing chronic conditions were shown to have rates in the 75-80% range for displaying positive results for depression and anxiety due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Younger populations including teens and young adults (25<) are being hit particularly hard by anxiety and depression. In May, these populations were experiencing higher rates of anxiety and depression than any other single age group. Anxiety rates for this age group were around 80% of screened participants . 90% of screened participants in this age group were also experiencing symptoms of depression.
- Themes of grief loss, and financial issues are mentioned in nearly 1 out of every 4 anxiety screenings in May, with similar themes being found in depression screenings.
To learn more about MHA and their research findings, visit: https://mhanational.org/sites/default/files/Coronavirus%20Mental%20Health%20Presentation%206-1-2020.pdf
Mental Health America (MHA) is dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and promoting the overall mental health of all Americans. The organization is committed to promoting mental health as a critical part of overall wellness, including prevention in services for all; early identification, intervention for those at risk, integrated care, available services, and support for those who need it. MHA offers access to education, research, and services through their national office and over 200 affiliates and associates around the country.