Americans are feeling anxious and depressed amid the pandemic

  • October 10 is World Mental Health Day, highlighting the importance of caring for your mental health.
  • The pandemic in particular is taking a toll on people’s mental health
  • The US Census Bureau has been conducting an experimental survey to learn more about the pandemic’s effects on US households, including frequency of feeling symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  • Younger adults were more likely to report feeling these symptoms frequently than other age groups.
  • If you’re struggling, call the SAMHSA National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357), or reach out to the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

October 10 is World Mental Health Day, and job losses, concerns around reopening schools, social distancing practices, and other effects of the coronavirus pandemic are taking a toll on the mental health of Americans. The pandemic is especially affecting the mental health of younger Americans.

The World Economic Forum and Visual Capitalist analyzed how the pandemic has affected US adults. Using data from the National Pandemic Emotional Impact Report, they found that distress varies by age and other demographics. For instance, they found 37% of people age 18-34 are experiencing high emotional distress during this time compared to 20% of people age 50-64.  

The US Census Bureau, with the help of other federal agencies like the National Center for Health Statistics, has been conducting an experimental Household Pulse Survey since April to learn more about the coronavirus’ effects on Americans. Phase two of this survey, which surveys Americans for two weeks instead of for only one week, started on August 19. 

The survey asks four questions regarding mental health: Two cover symptoms of anxiety and two ask about symptoms of depression. We decided to see how responses look like among age cohorts between September 16 to September 28. The Census Bureau notes that “sample sizes may be small and the standard errors may be large” but this data can give us an idea of how people are feeling amid the pandemic.

The survey found that younger Americans were more likely to report frequently experiencing these feelings than older age cohorts. 

The CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report similarly reported higher shares of anxiety and depression for Americans age 18 to 24 compared to older age groups during June 24 to June 30. According to an OECD survey reported on by the World Economic Forum, people age 15 to 24 around the world are most likely to worry about their mental health amid the pandemic, followed by concerns about employment. 

More specifically, the pandemic is affecting the mental health of American workers. A MetLife survey from July found about 30% of 2,000 American workers surveyed feel they are experiencing burnout, and more than 60% reported they are feeling multiple symptoms of this. Similarly, LinkedIn’s analysis of employee surveys showed a rise in burnout symptoms for US workers.

The following charts show the Census Bureau’s survey results by age group.

source.



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