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COVID-19 pandemic continues to take a toll on mental health in Colorado

COVID-19 stress
Posted at 2:42 PM, Jun 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-14 19:50:56-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — The pandemic is certainly taking a mental toll on us all and in return, causing a strain on mental health professionals.

According to the Census Bureau, the need for mental health care is extraordinary right now, with a third of Americans now showing signs of major depression or anxiety.

In Colorado, the same study says 32% of adults are showing symptoms of depression and anxiety. The number factor reported by participants was the change in our education system as we now carry the responsibility of being a teacher at home while also adapting to working from home, if possible. More on the reported causes can be found at the bottom of this article.

Mental health care workers say many of their clients are struggling to navigate life in this pandemic. They also say many of their patients are waiting until things settle back to normal before scheduling an appointment, which can cause financial problems for counselors trying to keep their practices afloat.

News5 spoke to one behavioral health expert who says there is a silver lining.

"People who have never really had anxiety or depression before, are now having those symptoms and seeking help and speaking out about it," said Billie Ratliff, Director of Behavior Health at UCHealth's Southern Region. "The systems are trying to adapt as fast as possible to try to meet those needs."

Ratliff says this pandemic is going to have an impact on everyone. She says therapists are going to have to help people cope in different ways because of how long the Pandemic has lasted.

"Symptoms of anxiety and depression can be life-altering, and during this pandemic, the resiliency of everyone is going to be tested," Ratliff adds.

Ratliff also pointed out another silver lining; Not as many people who use telehealth to get counseling are canceling their appointments as often.

US Census Household Pulse Survey results for Colorado:

The collection of the data started on April 23, about one month after we moved towards a Safer at Home approach in Colorado. According to the data provided, 69 million Americans, including 1 million Coloradans participated in the surveys.
See raw data tables by week
See the questions asked of participants