COVID and suicide: More than one quarter of young adults contemplated taking their life in the last two months

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new data drawn from a survey done June 24 through 30. The data show a fourth of young adults in the U.S. said they “seriously considered suicide” in the month before they were surveyed. Close to a third of Americans reported anxiety and depression symptoms and more than one in 10 adults said they have started or increased the abuse of drugs/alcohol during the pandemic.

More than half of “essential workers” — which of course includes health care workers, first responders and nursing home workers — said they have experienced mental health issues in the pandemic.

People who were previously diagnosed with depression, anxiety and PTSD overwhelmingly said they have had even more trouble coping during the pandemic.

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This data deserves to be at the top of every front page and lead every newscast. Your coverage will help people know they are not alone in feeling this stress. You will point your listeners, readers and viewers toward suicide hotlines, substance abuse help and online counseling, and you will interview experts who can help.

This is not a one-and-done story. This survey shows that as long as we have this pandemic and all of the pressures that come with it — including social separation, economic uncertainty, health concerns, child care, uncertainty about school calendars and loneliness — mental health is critically important, just as COVID-19 prevention itself is.

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