WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) ─ As millions of Americans face unemployment and the nation surpasses 100,000 COVID-19 deaths, experts say the virus has had a profound — and decidedly damaging — impact on many Americans’ mental health.
Rep. David Trone, D-Maryland, said the pandemic is impacting many Americans’ state of mind, with 73% suffering from anxiety related to the coronavirus.
Trone said alcohol and substance abuse has increased nationwide, as many struggle to find ways to cope.
“It’s been a major issue in America layer on top of that COVID, fear, uncertainty, layer on top of that economic collapse,” Trone said.
Dr. Elinore McCance-Katz of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration said ongoing uncertainty can cause mental illness and substance problems.
“When people are placed in new situations that they can’t get out of and that they control, it changes their mental health,” McCance-Katz said.
Azza Altiraifi with the Center for American Progress said that this underlying uncertainty must be addressed.
“[We] must take decisive action to ensure no one goes hungry during this pandemic, that no one loses childcare,” Altiraifi said.
McCance-Katz said those struggling with the impact of COVID-19 should seek help, “rather than try to deal with all of these issues in isolation.”
The Trump Administration said it is working hard to use all the health resources Congress has allocated.