The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) reports that racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. are less likely to have access to mental health services, less likely to use community mental health services, more likely to use emergency departments, and more likely to receive lower quality care. As a result, minority groups are at higher risks for poor mental health outcomes, including depression and self-harm. Ensuring all Americans have access to necessary resources begins with understanding the importance of good mental and emotional health.

A new study by Qualtrics identifies the nature of the global mental health crisis and provides data that sheds light on the issues people are facing.

67 percent of people report higher levels of stress since the outbreak of COVID-19.

57 percent say they have greater anxiety since the outbreak.

54 percent say they are more emotionally exhausted.

53 percent say they feel sadness day-to-day.

50 percent feel they are more irritable.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the CDC: In 2017, 10.5 percent (3.5 million) of young adults age 18 to 25 had serious thoughts of suicide including 8.3 percent of non-Hispanic blacks and 9.2 percent of Hispanics. In 2017, 7.5 percent (2.5 million) of young adults age 18 to 25 had a serious mental illness including 7.6 percent of non-Hispanic Asians, 5.7 percent of Hispanics and 4.6 percent of non-Hispanic Blacks.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in 5 Americans live with a mental health condition. NAMI says America’s entire mental health system needs improvement. That includes serving and helping marginalized communities.

National 4‑H Council commissioned a survey to explore teens’ perceptions and experiences around mental health. The survey, which polled over 1,500 diverse youth ages 13-19 nationwide, explored the role of resilience in mental health along with gathering youth perspectives on the state of mental health issues in their community and the nation. The survey was conducted online from May 4 to May 14, 2020.

81 percent of teens say mental health is a significant issue for young people in the U.S., and 64 percent of teens believe that the experience of COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on their generation’s mental health.

In this stressful climate, 7 in 10 teens have experienced struggles with mental health.

55 percent of teens say they have experienced anxiety, 45 percent excessive stress, and 43 percent depression.

61 percent of teens said that COVID-19 pandemic has increased their feeling of loneliness.

Teens today report spending 75 percent of their waking hours on screens during COVID-19.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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