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September 22, 2020

Before the coronavirus pandemic, there was already a mental health crisis in our country. One group that faced unique challenges was young adults between 18-25 years old. Young adults experienced mental illness at a higher level when compared to older adults, but fewer young adults received the mental health treatment they needed.

Now with COVID-19, young adults are being disproportionately affected. More young adults are having symptoms of depression, anxiety, turning to substance use to cope with COVID-related stress and experiencing suicidal ideation. They are facing these mental health consequences at a higher level when compared to adults of other age groups. A recent CDC survey found that 74.9% of people between 18-24 years old reported at least one behavioral health symptom, the prevalence of which was lower among adults between 25 and 44 and even lower among adults older than 44 years old.

The significant rise in adverse mental health symptoms, substance use, and suicidal ideation point to the need to increase access and availability of treatment options. Telehealth, counseling and other mental health services may help reduce the negative mental health impact COVID-19 is causing in communities across the country. Expanding access to services is essential to reduce the disparity between people with a mental health diagnosis and their ability to receive treatment.

There are resources and support networks available for young adults who need help managing their mental health. Park Center’s Emerging Adults Services offers a housing program, recovery groups and skill building opportunities to help young adults reach their educational or employment goals. Other resources and infographics to help young adults navigate their mental health are listed below.

NAMI: Teens and Young Adults
NAMI: Taking Charge of Your Mental Health
SAMHSA’s National Helpline 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or use SAMHSA’s Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator
Tennessee Statewide Crisis Line 1-855-274-7471
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

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