Survey shows COVID-19 stress often leads to depression


As the nation marks October as Depression Awareness Month under unprecedented conditions, Palm Point Behavioral Health in Titusville shared results of a poll by its parent company designed to assess and quantify Americans’ views and perceptions on mental health amidst COVID-19.

The results showed that 62 percent of survey participants reported increased stress, anxiety or depression. Of those feeling specifically COVID-related stress, anxiety or depression, 55 percent reported the stressors interfering moderately, severely or overwhelmingly in their lives.

Concerns about the economy, the unknown duration of COVID-19 effects, no normalcy in the near future, isolation from friends and family and the risk of virus exposure are the leading sources of stress, anxiety and depression.

Ironically, fear of virus exposure was the key barrier to mental health treatment during this time. It was followed by the cost of co-pay and, at the time, a pervasive negative perception of telehealth.

 As a result, only 15 percent of participants used online tools or sought help from a licensed counselor or therapist.

What could be evidence of the growing acceptance of on-line medical care, about half of adults surveyed said they had used telehealth to treat a mental or physical condition and most had a positive experience, results show.

Other positive findings included that nearly half of Americans expect to regain normalcy within a few months. More than 90 percent at least were somewhat hopeful that their home life would improve in the future.

“The results of this survey reveal numerous valuable insights into the impact COVID-19 is having on the mental health of Americans, as well as the tools being used to manage the effects,” said Matt Peterson, the executive vice president of Universal Health Services, and president of Behavioral Health Division.

“Barriers to care — particularly for mental health —  still exist and must be addressed. Research studies in this area will give us a better understanding of how to better support the citizens of our country to be resilient during this current pandemic as well as future challenges,” Peterson said.

Opened in November 2018, Palm Point Behavioral Health’s facility at 2355 Truman Scarborough Way in Titusville, under the direction of CEO Tom Mahle, features 74 beds, with designated units that offer individualized care.

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