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4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020

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Covid Fueling Mental Health Challenges

Doctors anticipate new wave of devastation
Posted at 12:25 AM, Oct 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-31 00:25:38-04

LANSING, Mich. — Doctors say a second wave of mental health devastation brought on by the pandemic is imminent. Earlier this month we reported how cases of depression in the u-s have more than quadrupled since covid started. Dan Grossman shows us why people in need are still struggling to find help.

“This is going to be a long-haul situation”

It took us more than a week to nail down an interview with President and CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Nealth Chuck Ingoglia

“I’m certainly hearing from our members that they’re feeling a lot of tension right now.”

He’s been that that* busy dealing with the 3,400 local mental health organizations around the country his group oversees that have had trouble keeping up with demand.

“I was with some folks in Tennessee last week and they’re talking about the fact that they’re having more people come in that have lost their jobs and therefore don’t have insurance and they just don’t have the resources to provide free care and they’re feeling really torn about that because they understand the need that’s in their community.”

In a survey of more than 5,000 people released by JAMA last week, 41 percent (40.9) reported feeling at least one adverse mental health condition including depression, anxiety, and substance abuse- tripling to quadrupling rates from one year earlier. and remarkably, nearly 11 percent (10.7) reported seriously considering suicide within the last 30 days

“We are concerned that these could get worse”

Dr. Vail Wright is the senior director of healthcare innovation at the American Psychological Association- she says as the days get shorter and weather gets colder more people will spend time inside- taking away a major respite during these troubling times – the outdoors

“We’re anticipating that we’ll continue to see mental health challenges including an increase in diagnostic categories as this continues if people don’t take active steps to manage their stress”

As COVID cases continue to another crest- experts say hospitals might continue to leave beds open for COVID patients- taking away the availability of psychiatric beds in the emergency room in a place many go for immediate care. the shift puts even more strain on the local organizations. Ignoglia oversees that have been dealing with funding issues.

“Our members are reporting about a 20 percent reduction in revenue and you deal with that by closing programs and laying off staff, which then means you serve fewer patients which then means your revenue stay low so it’s kind of this self-perpetuating problem that we’re having”

Ignoglia says he’s been focusing on the trump administration and congress as a source of relief in hopes more stimulus money comes to these programs so this concern doesn’t evolve into a something worse.

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