Number of people to develop depression, anxiety skyrockets during pandemic

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The COVID-19 pandemic has caused 88,405 people to develop anxiety or depression, according to Mental Health America’s (MHA) online screening program.

Of those taking the online screening, more than 21,000 people said they thought about suicide or self-harm on more than half the days. Annually, between 45,000 and 50,000 Americans die from suicide.

In May, more than 211,000 people took the online screening.

“Our May screening numbers were unprecedented,” MHA President and CEO Paul Gionfriddo said. “And what is most troubling is that the numbers – consistent with the numbers from the U.S. Government’s Census Bureau – demonstrate not only that there is not yet any relief from the mental health impacts of the pandemic, but that the impacts actually seem to be spreading and accelerating.”

Gionfriddo said federal policymakers have three options. They can pass funding for the mental health block grants and other safety net mental health providers, pass legislation, or make mental health screening the norm for every American.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 54,093 additional people had moderate-to-severe depression, and more than 34,312 additional people had moderate-to-severe anxiety screening results.

The screening also showed that young people were more likely to develop moderate-to-severe depression or moderate-to-severe anxiety.

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