Lack of access to mental health care
David Beier Robert Kocher Avik Roy, JULY 23, 2020, Health Affairs, Ten Actions For Better Post-Pandemic Health Care In The United States, https://www.healthaffairs.org/do/10.1377/hblog20200721.737295/full/
Pandemics are stressful and can exacerbate mental health conditions. As a direct consequence of the pandemic, it is widely expected that the suicide rate and mental health treatment need will dramatically increase. Sadly, access to metal health care services is uneven and sometimes unethically limited. Significant improvement in the enforcement of existing federal laws requiring parity of coverage for mental health services, as compared to coverage for physical health services, is needed. What is also needed is greater access to caregivers, both safely in-person and virtually. A new program to train and deploy thousands of new community mental health workers, modeled after new programs elsewhere in the world, could help a great deal.
Pandemic has triggered mental health problems
University of Utah Health, July 10, 2020, Mental Health care in a Pandemic, https://uofuhealth.utah.edu/notes/postings/2020/07/mental-health-help-during-covid.php#.XwsVKZNKh0s
Since March, University Neuropsychiatric Institute has observed a significant increase in calls to our CrisisLine and WarmLine. Call volume increased almost 25 perent in May. Mental health providers are noting increases in the self-reporting of stress, anxiety, depression, fear, and suicidal thoughts, even among people who do not have a prior psychiatric history. Individuals are talking about their worry of the unknown because of the pandemic, relationship strain, physical isolation as a family, transitioning to working from home, economic uncertainty, and social justice, all while expressing fatigue and, for some, a sense of hopelessness U of U Health mental health resource Suicide rates tend to slightly increase in times of economic and social crisis. Studies have shown that rates increase around 4 percent within the two-year time period following an economic crisis. In the U.S., older males who have experienced a higher percentage of income loss are the most at risk for suicide. This can be helpful information when looking at specific populations to support. A useful model to help us understand the strain we are enduring is “allostatic load.” This is “wear and tear on the body,” which can accumulate as individuals experience prolonged strain. It can have physiologic changes in all systems of your body and cause mental health disruptions in addition to fatigue and apathy, symptoms we are starting to see more in our everyday life.