*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on HealthDay.
The coronavirus pandemic is taking its toll on Americans’ mental health, with more than 88,000 people developing anxiety or depression as a result, according to Mental Health America (MHA), a U.S. community-based nonprofit organization.
Also, more than 21,000 Americans who completed MHA’s free online mental health screening last month said they thought about suicide or self-harm on more than half of the days in May.
The numbers suggest a coming mental health epidemic, according to MHA’s president, Paul Gionfriddo.
“Our May screening numbers were unprecedented,” he said in an organization news release. “And what is most troubling is that the numbers — consistent with the numbers from the U.S. Government’s Census Bureau — demonstrate not only that there is not yet any relief from the mental health impacts of the pandemic, but that the impacts actually seem to be spreading and accelerating.”
Since the start of the pandemic, the screening found:
- At least 88,405 more cases of depression and anxiety than expected.
- More than 54,000 moderate-to-severe cases of depression and more than 34,300 moderate-to-severe cases of anxiety between February through May.
- The per-day number of depression screenings was 394% higher and the per-day number of anxiety screenings was 370% higher in May than in January.
- There’s a huge toll on young people (younger than 25). Roughly 9 in 10 screened had moderate-to-severe depression and 8 in 10 had that level of anxiety.