The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic recession have negatively affected many people’s mental health, thus creating many new barriers for people to overcome. During the pandemic, about 4 in 10 adults have reported symptoms of anxiety or depression. Many adults are reporting specific negative impacts on their mental health and well-being, such as difficulty sleeping or eating, increases in alcohol consumption or substance use, and worsening chronic conditions due to worry and stress over the coronavirus. As the pandemic wears on, ongoing and necessary public health measures expose many people to experiencing situations linked to poor mental health outcomes, such as isolation and job loss. 

  • Young adults have experienced a number of pandemic-related consequences, such as closures of universities and loss of income, that may contribute to poor mental health. During the pandemic, a larger than average share of young adults (ages 18-24) report symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorder. Compared to all adults, young adults are more likely to report substance use and suicidal thoughts. Prior to the pandemic, young adults were already at high risk of poor mental health and substance use disorder, though many did not receive treatment.
  • Research during the pandemic points to concerns around poor mental health and well-being for adults and children, along with parents, particularly mothers, as many are experiencing challenges with school closures and lack of childcare as well as having to work and home school. The pressure has been immense.
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