MRaw Americans sought treatment for mental health disorders During the COVID-19 pandemic than in years past, according to data From the National Center for Health Statistics published on September 7. The proportion of adults in the United States who reported taking a prescription medication for a mental health condition or receiving counseling or treatment increased from 19.2% in 2019 to 21.6% in 2021.
The greatest rise occurred among younger adults, ages 18 to 44. Nearly 19% of people in this age group received mental health treatment in 2019, which rose to more than 23% in 2021. Research showed that younger adults were more likely than older adults to develop mental health symptoms during the early years of the epidemic; About 63% of people aged 18 to 24 reported symptoms of anxiety and depression in the 2020For example, more than 40% of adults between the ages of 25 and 44 reported the same thing.
Young women were more likely to receive mental health treatment than young men. In 2019, approximately 24% of women (and 13% of men) ages 18-44 received mental health treatment; These numbers grew to about 29% (and 18%, respectively) by 2021.
There were signs that women were already vulnerable before the pandemic, including its rise suicide rate between teenage girls and young women. epidemic double pressures on Young women’s mental healthSays Rachel Donnelly, assistant professor of sociology at Vanderbilt University (who was not involved in the study). “These additional stressors fall very hard on mothers, especially young women,” Donnelly says. During the outbreak, they have disproportionately borne the ramifications of school closures, caregiving responsibilities and job losses. Who will be responsible for homeschooling? Donnelly says. “If your child is sick or has to be quarantined, who is the parent most likely to stay home with them?”
To some extent, the increased use of mental health services may be a sign that more people in the United States who need this type of care are getting it. The pandemic has opened new ways for Americans to receive mental health care, including telehealth. In March 2020, only 1% of outpatient visits related to mental health and substance abuse were made via telehealth; That number rose to 36% as of August 2021, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation Posted in March. Insurers, including Medicaid, have also expanded coverage of mental health services for telehealth.
However, many people still They are not receiving the mental health care they need. The new data finds that less than half of Hispanic and Asian Americans ages 18 to 44 received mental health care as white people in 2021, and there were relatively small increases in the number of people receiving care from 2019 to 2021. : Only 1.1% increase among Hispanics. 4.8% among Asians, and 2.4% among blacks. Donnelly says these numbers indicate unequal access. For example, while telehealth has been a boon for some people, it Maybe it wasn’t an option For people who don’t have a high-speed Internet connection or a quiet room to talk to a therapist, she points out.
While Research It suggests that people of color – including black Americans, Hispanics and Asians – were more likely to harm their mental health during the pandemic and racial trauma. motivated, impulsive the kill That happened while, new data shows that white people were more than twice as likely as people in other racial groups to secure mental health care during the pandemic. The smallest group of white Americans studied experienced a 6.6% increase in care seeking from 2019 to 2021. However, young black Americans saw only a small 4.6% increase in 2020 compared to 2019, but the rate decreased by 2.2 % for 2020. Peak a year later.
People of color are especially likely to encounter structural barriers that make it difficult to receive mental health careDonnelly says. They are less likely to have paid their vacation and receive health insurance from their employer, for example, and tend to have fewer economic resources. “We know that there are mental health disparities — particularly during the pandemic, which has generally had more serious consequences for people of color,” Donnelly says. There are a lot of structural barriers. will add up. “
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