COVID-19 Pandemic Produces Higher Cases of Depression and Anxiety – The
Along with the spread of the spread of COVID-19, the further drop in mental health is another issue we have seen during the pandemic. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “the percentage of American adults with symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorders increased nationally from August 2020 to February 2021.”
Using the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-4), the CDC found that the range of adults reporting rates of anxiety symptoms increased from 7.4-8.6% to 28.8 to 37.2% in one year. Rates of symptoms of depression which went from 5.9 to 7.5% to 20.2 and 31.1% in one year. According to the CDC, these increases were for men, Asian Americans, young adults and parents with children at home.
According to the CDC’s website, “National COVID-19 trends demonstrate that certain populations have been disproportionately affected by high incidence of COVID-19, which also suggests that these populations may be more vulnerable to the psychological consequences of COVID. -19”.
“The pandemic has resulted in an increased need for mental health support for our student population,” said Maria Reynoso, counselor at Santa Monica College (SMC).
Reynoso further explained that some students felt their anxiety and depression had increased during the pandemic. There has also been an increase in the number of students seeking mental health help.
“Right now, we’re also hearing from students about increased anxiety as they transition from virtual learning to in-person learning,” Reynoso said.
There has not only been an increase in student anxiety due to virtual learning, but also due to a “sudden change in learning modalities, lack of social connection, inability to separate home from school responsibilities and the fear of the unknown,” Reynoso said. .
Some SMC students also experience an increase in depression. “Many didn’t know how to deal with their feelings and the associated changes,” Reynoso said.
The CDC reported that “symptom frequency subsequently declined, but in June 2021 remained elevated compared to 2019 National Health Information System (NHIS) estimates.”
There are many resources available for SMC students struggling with mental health issues. Resources include individual therapy services for students, a 24/7 helpline (800 691-6003), and Guardian Scholars, a program committed to supporting current and former foster youth leaving the foster care system, also provides students with counseling on mental health topics. .