Angie Szumlinski Health, Studies

The percentage of adults who had symptoms of anxiety or a depressive disorder during the past 7 days and those with unmet mental health needs during the past 4 weeks increased significantly from August 2020 to February 2021, with the largest increases among those aged 18-29 years and those with less than high school education. During January 20, 2021-February 1 2021, more than two in five adults over the age of 18 years experienced symptoms of anxiety or a depressive disorder during the past 7 days. One in four adults who experienced these symptoms reported that they needed but did not receive counseling or therapy for their mental health.

These findings are consistent with results from surveys conducted early in the COVID-19 pandemic (March-June 2020) that showed an increased prevalence of mental health symptoms, especially among young adults. The more recent results indicate an increasing prevalence over time later in 2020, which remained increased in early 2020. The trends in symptoms of anxiety or a depressive disorder from the Household Pulse Survey (HPS) have been shown to be consistent with trends in the weekly number of reported COVID1-19 cases, and it has been theorized that increases in these mental health indicators correspond with pandemic trends.

We are all busy, burning both ends of the candle, not sleeping well, and definitely not eating well! Maybe it is time to promote some positive mental health strategies for yourself, your residents, and staff! Talk about how stress can relate to poor self-care and decline in resident’s overall well-being. Promote healthy eating, avoid double shifts/overtime when possible, and stay tuned in so that you can pick up on subtle signs of distress! Remember, caregiver burnout and stress are real, we can’t pretend it doesn’t happen and avoid discussing it! Stay well, mask up and stay tuned!