by Jordan Roberts
Director of Government Affairs, John Locke Foundation
Americans, and especially our country’s youth, were already experiencing a mental health reckoning before the novel coronavirus. Now, 5 months into the pandemic, there is evidence COVID-19 is acting like an accelerant thrown on the fire that is America’s mental health crisis.
A new survey released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is a sobering reminder of the toll the pandemic, the ensuing lockdowns, and economic fallout has on the mental state of Americans. The survey was taken between June 24-30 in a web format.
The chart above reveals respondents’ answers to questions and mental issues, substance abuse, and suicide based on age and demographic characteristics. The results are hard to comprehend. Here are some of the main takeaways, in my opinion:
As I said, America was already grappling with how to handle the rise of mental health issues, especially among the youngest Americans. Lockdowns, social distancing, constant negative news, job loss, financial insecurity are likely large culprits in this sharp uptick in reported mental health disorders and thoughts of suicide.
No one knows exactly how long all of this will last. But suffice it to say that this pandemic, and the subsequent government actions and economic downturns, have only exacerbated an already growing problem.
For more information on mental health issues in America, see: