The next “Great Depression”: The COVID-19 Mental Health Crisis
Mel Rising Dawn Cordeiro
The COVID-19 pandemic not only affects the physical health of those infected, but also the mental health of everyone regardless of if infected or not. A ripple effect of COVID is the mental health crisis occurring throughout the country and back home in Rhode Island. The mental health crisis is a serious issue affecting many Americans of different ages and backgrounds. Sometimes, asking the questions “are you okay?” and “have you done any true self care lately?” are crucial questions that some may not be able to answer during the ongoing mental health crisis.
Due to the continuing demands of the pandemic, everyone has had their patience and mentality tested. Some of the factors that brought people to their limits are isolations, masking and social distancing. Now more than ever, mental health, self care and wellbeing are considered important.
From the months of May through October of 2020, a study of 528 of Rhode Island’s youth, aged 18-25, were interviewed about their mental health status, and for any additional trigger information, as it pertains to the COVID-19 crisis. It was concluded that 44.1% of the sample population were depressed, while 31.3% have anxiety and 12.1% have considered suicide. More about this specific study and conclusions can be found here.
“Among young adults, those who are already most vulnerable and stigmatized in the community are also those who are most severely affected in terms of mental health. Well-understood mental health disparities have only been further exacerbated by the pandemic, and these disadvantaged populations need more support than ever,” the study concludes. As such, there is a higher demand for psychiatrists and psychologists.
Even though this is just a very small example of a very big problem, it adds to the discussion of who needs the most help. It is no secret that investing in youth is investing in the future, and making an investment in the future includes making smart choices and helping others out. Some common ways to help out oneself mentally are to eat healthy, stay active and socialize. The CDC’s website provides mental health quizzes and useful tips on self care. The CDC also has resources available should one feel the need to talk to a mental health professional.
People may all be in the same storm, but are not all in the same boat. Those who feel that they need to talk to someone immediately, are urged to text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741. The Crisis Text Line consists of volunteers who are ready to listen 24/7. It is guaranteed that those who reach out their voices will be heard.