CDC surveys suggest a mental health crisis alongside coronavirus.
Between June 24 and 30, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) conducted an online survey of 5,412 people and found that 25.5 percent of young adults between 18 and 24 years old had seriously considered suicide in the last 30 days. The survey, featured in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, reads:
"The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been associated with mental health challenges related to the morbidity and mortality caused by the disease and to mitigation activities, including the impact of physical distancing and stay-at-home orders.
Symptoms of anxiety disorder and depressive disorder increased considerably in the United States during April–June of 2020, compared with the same period in 2019."
About 70 percent of those who filled out the survey were first-time respondents, and 731 of them were marked in the 18–24 age range. Survey-takers self-reported on questions about anxiety, depression, substance use, suicide, and the impact of the pandemic. The survey also collected demographic information like ethnicity and income, as well as essential worker status and whether the respondent knew someone infected or killed by COVID-19.
Trends in the Data
Overall, 40.0 percent of respondents reported at least one adverse mental or behavioral health condition, while 26.3 percent reported a trauma or stressor-related disorder, and 13.3 percent claimed an increase in substance use used to cope with stress or emotions related to COVID-19.
Those That Seriously Considered Suicide
The breakdown on suicidal ideation indicates the heaviest weight is being felt by young adults, caregivers, essential employees, and minorities.
The percentage of all respondents reporting suicidal intent in the last 30 days was 10.7 percent. See how that stacks up to the reported suicidal intent from these cross-sections:
- respondents aged 18–24 years (25.5 percent)
- respondents aged 25-44 years (16 percent)
- Hispanic respondents (18.6 percent)
- Black respondents (15.1 precent )
- self-reported unpaid caregivers for adults (30.7 percent)
- essential workers (21.7 percent)
Please, as with all news citing a study, check out the data for yourself in the report.
Here's another research study about the UN and WHO responding to the mental health crisis.
"The impacts of the pandemic on physical and mental health will unfold differently over time and will vary depending on the duration and fluctuating intensity of the disease," says the study published by Hogrefe. "Research is needed to help ensure that decision-making regarding all aspects of health, including mental health, is informed by the best quality data at each stage of the pandemic."
While the CDC survey had a limited scope and was self-reported, it marks one of the first forays into understanding the mental health toll of the pandemic.
What are your thoughts on these numbers? What has been your mental health experience during this unfortunate conflux of events? We appreciate your comments.