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Omicron raises new concerns about the mental health of the United States after a “severe two years.”US news

Sarah Isaacs, a therapist in Raleigh, North Carolina, primarily looks at clients between the ages of 22 and 30. Many missed normal dating and networking because of Covid’s pandemic.

“They literally couldn’t do anything for two years,” said Isaacs, who specializes in working with people with eating disorders and those who identify them as LGBTQ +.

They are just a few of the Americans whose mental health has deteriorated during the pandemic.Gallup vote As with last year, only 34% of Americans say their mental health is “excellent,” according to November results. These are the lowest levels in 20 years.

Many people in the United States are now vaccinated against the virus and can engage in something like a pre-pandemic lifestyle, but the country’s population suffers from anxiety and depression.

And now there are new concerns about the Omicron variant and its potential impact on public life this winter. Early reports indicate that new variants, which may be more contagious than previous strains, are already widespread in the United States, raising concerns. If Omicron leads to another Covid-19 surge, the impact on mental health will be significant.

Sylvia Saccardo, a social scientist and recent co-author, said: study About college students at the University of Pittsburgh. “And they haven’t returned to pre-pandemic levels of physical activity, which can also have consequences. This is very worrisome, because lifestyle habits and well-being do not recover naturally. It’s important to think about what to do. Interventions to help them. “

Psychologists and others studying mental health attribute the high incidence of anxiety and depression to continued concern about the virus and prolonged trauma from the worst part of the pandemic. increase.

It’s not uncommon, said Sharon Huber, co-director of the University of Maryland-based National School of Mental Health. For example, more than 18 months after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, 15% of young people exposed to natural disasters still suffer from serious emotional disorders such as anxiety disorders. study In the journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

Like Isaacs in his twenties, children and teens are missing out on important life events, Hoover said.

“Many children and adolescents do not yet have the coping mechanisms they may need, and they are at the mercy of the adults there to take care of them,” Hoover said. rice field. It is a serious mistake for people to say, “Our children are okay, it will only suffer for adults.” “

The same concerns about mental health remain on the university campus.Prior to the pandemic, one-third of college students across the country reported suffering from anxiety and one-quarter reported depression, according to the American College Health Association. report..Research implementation According to the Spring 2021 organization, one in four students positively screened for suicidal ideation.

John Dunkle, a former director of counseling services at Northwestern University and now a senior director of a nonprofit organization, said: -A commercial organization of the Jed Foundation, a suicide prevention organization.

To fight what some public health groups have declaration Schools, a national mental health emergency, “rather than waiting for children to be sent to mental health providers who may not be seen for six months,” partly due to labor shortages. Hoover said there is a need to improve adolescents’ coping skills in the classroom.

“We have returned children to school to improve learning losses in the context of Covid, but we must also provide social and emotional support in the school environment,” Hoover said. rice field.

Although there is a shortage of mental health professionals in the United States, Dunkle said focusing on the number of counseling center healthcare providers is only one consideration. The school also needs to educate other staff on how to meet the mental health needs of students and help students navigate insurance issues, he said.

Despite concerns about student mental health issues, Dunkle sees optimistic reasons. In collaboration with Dunkle’s organization, Ithaca College recently established “Stop and Breeze Week” to help students cope with the stress of preparing for final exams.

After two students at St. Louis University committed suicide in September, the school cancel A one-day class to help students focus on their mental health.

“That’s a good sign. Tell students in the community,’Stop and think about mental health and balance,'” Dunkle said. Ideally, they would take such steps “aggressively, not necessarily in the aftermath of tragedy.”

North Carolina therapist Isaacs can also get positive feedback from recent reports on mental health in the United States. She said she and other healthcare providers in her practice have a two-month waiting list of people seeking appointments, partly because treatment has become more normative.

“I think the fact that people are seeking treatment in herds is good,” Isaacs said. “Two years have passed, but I feel like I’m not alone because we’re all together.”

Omicron raises new concerns about the mental health of the United States after a “severe two years.”US news

Source link Omicron raises new concerns about the mental health of the United States after a “severe two years.”US news

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