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Mental Health Struggles Continue Amid Pandemic

August 20, 2020

A recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlights the significant mental health effects that COVID-19 is having for people struggling to cope with the pandemic. The CDC found that 40 percent of adults reported struggling with mental health issues or substance use within recent months.

The report discovered younger adults, racial/ethnic minorities, essential workers, and unpaid adult caregivers experienced disproportionately worse mental health outcomes, increased substance use, and elevated suicidal ideation. Those reportedly struggling with mental health issues reported a range symptoms, including:

  • Anxiety/Depression (31%)
  • Trauma/stressor-related disorder (26%)
  • Started or increased substance use (13%)
  • Seriously considered suicide (11%)

The CDC’s follow-up recommendations to the public health response to the pandemic included increased intervention and prevention efforts to address mental health conditions with community-level efforts that should prioritize younger adults, racial/ethnic minorities, essential workers, and unpaid adult caregivers.

In Pennsylvania, the Wolf Administration recently announced the launch of a new mental health resource guide aimed at providing resources to assist Pennsylvanians with their mental health needs. The guide includes sections about how to access treatment, coping with trauma, and unique challenges for minority and LGBTQ communities.

HAP continues to address challenges related to identifying treatment resources beyond the emergency department and modernize policy to improve access to information to improve patient care.

For more information, contact Laura Stevens Kent, HAP’s senior vice president, strategic integration, or Jennifer Jordan, HAP’s vice president, regulatory advocacy.