CDC survey finds that a quarter of young adults contemplated suicide during the pandemic

I have previously written about how we may be on the verge of a mental health crisis due to recent events. The coronavirus induced recession has caused tremendous job loss which is damaging to mental health. And additionally, the mandated shutdowns also increased isolation during the pandemic, which heavily contributes to mental stress.

Generally, researchers expected and warned about this trend. This pandemic, and the way that it has been handled left people with more than just job losses. It also brought people fear, uncertainty as well as mandated isolation. These are all factors that when put together put a mental toll on people. And additionally, during the pandemic, most of these issues, like job losses were concentrated on people already facing economic woes.

Young adults have been heavily mentally affected

Generally, young adults have among some of the lowest mortality rates when it comes to Covid-19. But they have been more heavily affected by job loss. Additionally, according to new data by the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention), young adults have also been heavily mentally affected due to the virus. To be specific,

One in four young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 say they’ve considered suicide in the past month because of the pandemic, according to new CDC data that paints a bleak picture of the nation’s mental health during the crisis.

The data also flags a surge of anxiety and substance abuse, with more than 40 percent of those surveyed saying they experienced a mental or behavioral health condition connected to the Covid-19 emergency. The CDC study analyzed 5,412 survey respondents between June 24 and 30.

The toll is falling heaviest on young adults, caregivers, essential workers and minorities. While 10.7 percent of respondents overall reported considering suicide in the previous 30 days, 25.5 percent of those between 18 to 24 reported doing so. Almost 31 percent of self-reported unpaid caregivers and 22 percent of essential workers also said they harbored such thoughts. Hispanic and Black respondents similarly were well above the average.

This is more about the handling of the virus

Looking at the coronavirus numbers, young people should have been the least affected people. But a huge focus on eradicating the virus at all costs has cost them heavily. Young adults have not only seen their job prospects demolished, but they have also been filled with messages instilling uncertainty and fear. Isolation has additionally been one of the biggest triggers of feelings of mental distress during the period.

It is a little too early to predict the full scale of COVID-19’s impact on mental health but studies suggest these effects should be long-lasting. And according to a study by Leo Sher, “Mental health consequences of the COVID-19 crisis including suicidal behavior are likely to be present for a long time and peak later than the actual pandemic”. It is therefore imperative that going forward, any action directed towards curbing Covid-19 be carefully weighed. Because the truth of the matter is that there is no policy solution that comes at zero cost. The same is true for any policy geared towards containing Covid-19.