• Lonnie Granier

Joint Economic Committee Releases New Report on Coronavirus and Mental Health

The U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee recently released a new report on how America's failure to contain the coronavirus is taking a toll on Americans’ mental health. Thirty-seven percent of American adults reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder—triple the percentage that reported such symptoms in 2019—according to a large recent survey by the U.S. Census Bureau. The increase was especially high among Latinos, who have the highest rates of any racial group, as well as Blacks, young people and essential workers.

The likely causes of this high rate are the public health crisis and the resulting recession. Sixty-five percent of Americans surveyed report that they fear that they or their loves ones will contract the coronavirus and 70% surveyed report that they fear that the coronavirus will negatively impact their household income. Meanwhile, the substantial economic pressures that Americans are facing have yet to subside: 22 million jobs disappeared this spring, more than 12 million workers remain unemployed and another 5 million have given up and left the labor force. One-third of adult Americans surveyed report having trouble paying usual household expenses.

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