Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Mental Illness and Substance Abuse On the Rise in the Midst of the Pandemic, Says CDC


Press release from the Humboldt County Joint Information Center:

Mental health and substance use challenges are increasing as the pandemic stretches into the winter months, prompting local health officials to remind residents of resources that can be accessed remotely.

According to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on “Mental Health, Substance Use and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” U.S. adults reported increased anxiety and depression symptoms, trauma and stress-related symptoms, new or increased substance use and having seriously considered suicide in the last month.

“Younger adults, racial/ethnic minorities, essential workers and unpaid adult caregivers reported having experienced disproportionately worse mental health outcomes, increased substance use and elevated suicidal ideation,” the report states.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration stated the findings of the report are troubling, but unfortunately not surprising. “Research is clear on the effect of shutdown and social isolation on an individual’s mental health,” the organization stated. “The negative health effects are potentially long-lasting and very consequential for individuals and their families.”

Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) Behavioral Health Substance Use Disorder Administrator Raena West said the pandemic has been difficult on everyone and can especially be challenging for those experiencing addiction, in recovery from a substance use disorder, suffering from mental health issues and those in at-risk populations cited by the CDC.

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“It’s important that the community knows that Behavioral Health services are available,” West said. “We invite people to call so we can explain the expanded services available to meet people where they are in their recovery. You’re not alone. We know times are tough right now, and we are here to help.”

DHHS resources include:

  • Substance Use Disorder Services — 707-476-4054
  • Behavioral Health Warm Line — 707-268-2999
  • 24-Hour Behavioral Health Crisis Line — 707-445-7715

To read CDC’s report, go to cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6932a1.htm

For the most recent COVID-19 information, visit cdc.gov or cdph.ca.gov. Local information is available at humboldtgov.org or during business hours by contacting covidinfo@co.humboldt.ca.us or calling 707-441-5000.

Humboldt County COVID-19 Data Dashboard: humboldtgov.org/dashboard,
Follow us on Facebook: @HumCoCOVID19,
Instagram: @HumCoCOVID19,
Twitter: @HumCoCOVID19, and
Humboldt Health Alert: humboldtgov.org/HumboldtHealthAlert

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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