HOW HAS the COVID 19 PANDEMIC IMPACTED MENTAL HEALTH?
A recent Gallup poll reveals that Americans rate their mental health at the lowest level in the prior 20 years. Seventy-six percent rate their mental health as good or excellent, compared to 85% in 2019. Since 2001, ratings of excellent or good ranged from 81% to 89%, as compared to this year’s 76%. Best guess is that the drop reflects the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic, as well as perhaps election results and the state of race relations in our country ( https://news.gallup.com/poll/327311/americans-mental-health-ratings-sink-new-low.aspx).
Breaking this down by demographic groups, the following subgroups declined by double digits since 2019:
- Independent voters
- White adults
- Unmarried adults
- Older adults
- Low-income adults
- Those who attend religious services less than weekly.
The following show the least change in their mental health ratings:
- Frequent church attendees.
In contrast to mental health ratings, physical health ratings are unchanged from 2019, and they are close to the 20-year trends. Income and education are highly correlated with better physical health; those with higher income and more education generally have better access to health care.
Several previous blogs specify the risks to mental health from the COVID 19 pandemic. These include: anxiety, depression, sleep disruption, alcohol and substance abuse, child abuse, and domestic violence. Children, adolescents, college students not able to attend in-person programs, as well as isolated senior adults, and recently unemployed adults are often more at risk.
The therapists at the Independent Psychotherapy Network are highly skilled and prepared to assist with pandemic related issues. We have been providing support to our clients throughout the last several months as we all navigate the challenges to our psychological well-being. Telehealth services are available.
Alan M. Solomon, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Torrance, CA. A member of the Independent Psychotherapy Network, he can be reached at 310 539-2772 or firstname.lastname@example.org Telehealth sessions by phone of video call are available.
Copyright 2021 by Alan M. Solomon, Ph.D.