By: Brenda Teed, LSW, COVID-19 Social Support Coordinator & Preventionist
Mental Health + COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted that mental health is interconnected with all other public health challenges, and while we welcome a return to “normalcy”, we must continue to work to advance our efforts to respond more effectively to mental health needs.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by a massive 25%.
Sometimes anxiety and depression can spiral out of control and lead to thoughts of suicide. Provisional data indicates that the rate of suicides in the US increased 4 percent from 2020 to 2021, after two consecutive years of decline. (Source: CDC.gov/National Center for Health Statistics).
While depression, anxiety, and suicides have increased in the past year, more adults are seeking out treatment for mental health issues. The percentage of adults receiving mental health treatment increased 6% since 2019 (Source: CDC).
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is Live
988 is now active across the US. The new, shorter phone number makes it easier for people to remember and access mental health crisis services.
After the launch of the 988 Suicide Crisis Lifeline number, calls increased by 45% compared with the same time last year. (Source: Samhas.gov).
If you’re struggling with thoughts of suicide or experiencing a mental health or substance use crisis, call or text 988 to be connected to trained counselors who will listen to your concerns, provide support, and get you additional help if needed.
Suicide is Preventable
Remember, suicide is preventable. Below are actions you can take to help someone in crisis.