More people get mental health treatment during the pandemic

USAore Americans seek treatment for mental health disorders during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to previous years, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics released on September 7. The percentage of U.S. adults reporting taking prescription medication for a mental health condition or receiving counseling or therapy rose from 19, 2% in 2019 to 21.6% in 2021.

The biggest increases occurred among the youngest adults, ages 18 to 44. Nearly 19% of people in this age group received mental health treatment in 2019, rising to more than 23% in 2021. Other recent cases research have shown that young people are more likely to experience mental health symptoms than older adults in the early years of the pandemic; about 63% of people aged 18 to 24 reported symptoms of anxiety and depression in Year 2020For example, more than 40% of adults ages 25 to 44 reported the same.

Young women are more likely to receive mental health treatment than men. In 2019, nearly 24% of women (and 13% of men) aged 18 to 44 received mental health treatment; these numbers have grown to about 29% (and 18%, respectively) by 2021.

There are signs that women are already vulnerable to the pandemic, including an increase suicide rate between adolescent girls and young women. Epidemic mixture existing stressors on mental health of young womenRachel Donnelly, assistant professor of sociology at Vanderbilt University (who was not involved in the study). “These additional stressors are hitting mothers especially hard, especially young women,” says Donnelly. During the outbreak, they suffered disproportionately from school closures, caregiving responsibilities and job losses. “Who will be responsible for homeschooling?” Donnelly said. “If your kids are sick or quarantined, who are the parents most likely to stay home with them?”

Read more: Pandemic Anxiety Is Fueling OCD Symptoms — Even For People Without the Disorder

To some extent, the increased use of mental health services may be a sign that more people in the United States who need this type of care are getting it. The pandemic has opened up new ways for Americans to get mental health care, including telehealth. In March 2020, only 1% of outpatient visits related to mental health and substance use were conducted via telehealth; that number rose to 36% by August 2021, according to analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation published in March. Insurers including Medicaid are also expanding coverage of telehealth services.

However, many people still not getting the mental health care they need. New data shows that less than half of black, Hispanic, and Asian Americans ages 18 to 44 will receive the same mental health care as whites by 2021, and there is a similar increase. relatively small in number of people receiving care from 2019 to 2021: only 1.1% increase among Hispanics; 4.8% in Asians and 2.4% in Blacks. Donnelly says these numbers show unequal access. For example, while telehealth is a boon for some, it may not be an option She points out that for those who don’t have high-speed internet access or a quiet room to talk to a therapist.

While research suggests that people of color — including Blacks, Hispanics, and Asian Americans — are more likely to suffer damage to their mental health during pandemics and racial trauma motivated killing occurred during that time, new data shows that whites are more than twice as likely to receive mental health care than people of other racial groups in securing mental health care. god during the pandemic. The youngest group of white Americans studied experienced a 6.6% increase in care searches between 2019 and 2021. However, young black Americans grew only 4.6% in 2020. compared to 2019, but this was down 2.2% compared to 2020. peaked a year later.

People of color are especially likely to face structural barriers that make it difficult for them to be receptive take care of your mind and body, said Donnelly. For example, they are less likely to take time off work and receive health insurance from their employer, and they tend to have fewer economic resources. “We know that there are mental health inequalities – especially during a pandemic, which has had far more dire consequences for people of color,” Donnelly said. “There are a lot of structural barriers. It will increase. “

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