The Mental Health Crisis

May 27, 2020

Image by Jude Beck

The US is coming up on three months of its battle against Coronavirus. In the shadows, the nation is fighting another battle; one against depression, anxiety, and fear.

 

With people sheltering inside their homes, individuals are forced to endure long periods of isolation without the comfort of human touch. Those suffering from depression are unable to utilize distractions such as work and social gatherings to maintain a healthy day-to day. Those in abusive households are now forced to stay in those unsafe environments with no reprieve.  Loved ones are forced to remain apart and the support system we once were able to find within our communities is now gone.  A Kaiser Family Foundation poll reported that nearly half of Americans feel as though this pandemic has taken a toll on their mental health.

 

One of the main priorities in being able to prevent the increase of mental health related trauma is fixing the broken mental healthcare system. In America, 1 in 5 adults suffer from mental illness but only half receive treatment. In this crisis, it is more important than ever to put resources into mental health care. Therapists have struggled to shift to an online platform, insurance rarely covers mental health services, and community centers are unable to stay financially afloat. Without the capital necessary, interventions in the form of mental health screenings and telehealth services are all but imaginary.

 

However, there’s still a possibility for reform. The shift to telehealth services could make mental health treatment more accessible in the long run. This would allow people to benefit beyond the pandemic and receive the help they need. In the meantime, while all resources may not be available, individuals have found that leaning on friends and loved ones can be extremely comforting and helpful with managing anxiety. COVID-19 has forced us to stay in our homes, but that doesn’t mean we’re alone.

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