COVID 19’s Effects on Mental Health

Rainee Freeburg, Staff Reporter

 Coronavirus has had an immense impact on people’s mental health. According to Kaiser Family Foundation the unpredictability and uncertainty of COVID, the associated closures, social distancing and the resulting economic breakdown could increase mental health problems. In a KFF tracking poll conducted in mid-July, 53% of adults in the United States reported that their mental health has been negatively impacted due to worry and stress over COVID. This is significantly higher than the 32% reported in March. Many adults are also reporting specific negative impacts on their mental health and wellbeing, such as difficulty sleeping (36%) or eating (32%), increases in alcohol consumption or substance use (12%) and worsening chronic conditions (12%) due to worry and stress over COVID, according to a KFF tracking poll. As the pandemic continues, ongoing and necessary public health measures are causing isolation and job loss, which have been linked to a decrease in mental health. According to the mid-July KFF tracking poll, 57% of women and 50% of men are experiencing negative mental health impacts. Women are more likely to report symptoms of anxiety or depression as well due to COVID. Suicide rates and mental illness in adolescents has also gone up since a large section of the youth population doesn’t have access to key mental health services at school, such as school counseling and school provided programs. According to centers for disease control and prevention, people often experience fear and worry about the health of others and themselves, their financial situation, change in sleep, worsening chronic health and mental problems and increased use of addictive substances from stress over COVID. The Washington Post also says that through the COVID funding only a tiny portion goes to mental health.Therapists are also struggling bringing their practices online and to reach vulnerable groups because of restrictions on licensing and reimbursement, this is a big reason mental health issues have gone up as well. It’s important to remember how the stress of COVID can impact other people’s mental health. Always keep an eye out on other people’s mental health and your own, be watchful and offer the help that’s needed.