Late Edition-The Underlying Mental Health Crisis in America
We’re closing in on a year of being cursed with a pandemic that seems never-ending. While some are saying that it’s going to get better and things are looking up, we have another crisis on our hands even when/if this pandemic ever ends and that’s the one about mental health.
The pandemic has brought with it a slew of mental health issues and has,for others, exacerbated pre-existing mental health issues and anxieties in terms of where their next meal is coming from, when they can go back to work, and most importantly why not enough is being done to bring relief to so many people who are suffering through it.
I will tell you this: The past week has been a mentally challenging one for myself. I have been void of a lot of joy. I haven’t had much of anything to look forward to other than going to work or anywhere to go or anybody to spend time with. To say last week was easy is a lie and it’s not only made my mental health take a big hit,but I’m also in a mindset of not feeling like anything is getting better anytime soon, that we’re being made to suffer by design, and that the goalposts on certain things like wearing masks keep getting pushed back. I have not been very happy at all and it’s hard believing anything is getting better overall when you yourself don’t exactly feel it. I also just got over the virus and am still feeling the depression that follows such an illness.
One thing I discovered, but in reality knew all along,is that it isn’t just me suffering through this, it’s just about anyone and everyone, and the effects of this pandemic and the toll taken on the mental health of many are going to last long after this is over.
Early on, we had a significant number of adults reporting that the pandemic had caused stress in their mental health, with a third of American adults saying as such. By July,that number climbed to 53-percent.
Even after one, like myself, has overcome COVID-19, they’re still gripped with serious mental health challenges. One in five people who have had the virus develop mental illness within 90 days,according to a study in the Lancet Psychiatry Journal.
Young people are also deeply affected. According to a CDC study, 25-percent of respondents aged 18-24 considered suicide within 30 days of the survey.
Beyond that, many are either too afraid or unable to seek help for their mental health issues. Those unable may have no health insurance at all or lost it along with their job during the crisis.
So,how do we solve this crisis? Well,for starters, we need our elected officials to recognize the pain people are feeling and to address how to make it easier to be able to get mental help. I know it’s easier said than done, but remember, your representatives work for you and if they’re not getting the job done, they will and deserve to be voted out of their jobs. Also, you can’t alleviate the pain by throwing money at the problem. If money solved all of our problems rich people would never die. So we have to make it way easier for everyone who is suffering to get the help they need.
I also feel we owe it to one another to check in once in a while to see how everyone is doing. I know I haven’t been the best at it sometimes and I know for a fact that some people I know are god awful at communication, but now more than ever we need to be there for each other. If a friend texts you, respond back. If there’s a call coming in from someone you supposedly care about,take the call. It may be the one thing that you can do to make a difference to them and oftentimes, that’s enough to make it to another day.
Believe me, I know things are hard. I’m feeling it myself. I am and have been in a lot of emotional pain. But this mental health crisis we have on top of this pandemic is really bad and I’m not one who wishes to see it get worse. We have to do better on it, we are capable of getting things under control so we don’t have to feel like we’re alone anymore.