By New York State Senator Joseph A. Griffo, R-Rome, 47th District
Individuals, families, small business owners and communities have faced a number of challenges, struggles and uncertainties because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Many have experienced a mental or behavioral health condition connected to the Covid-19 crisis, according to a recent survey from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To assess mental health, substance use and suicidal ideation during the pandemic, representative panel surveys were conducted among adults aged 18 years and older across the United States during June 24–30, 2020. The study found that:
· 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.
· Approximately twice as many respondents reported serious consideration of suicide in the previous 30 days than did adults in the United States in 2018.
· Approximately one quarter of respondents reported symptoms of a trauma- and stressor-related disorder related to the pandemic, and approximately one in 10 reported that they started or increased substance use because of COVID-19.
· Mental health conditions also are disproportionately affecting specific populations, especially young adults, Hispanic persons, black persons, essential workers, unpaid caregivers for adults, and those receiving treatment for preexisting psychiatric conditions.
These and other mental health challenges are 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.
Help is available to those in need.
The New York State COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline provides free and confidential support, helping callers experiencing increased anxiety due to the coronavirus emergency. The Helpline is staffed by volunteers, including mental health professionals, who have received training in crisis counseling. The number is 1-844-863-9314.
Additional resources can be found at omh.ny.gov/omhweb/covid-19-