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MONDAY, FEB 8, 2021

NYSHealth Report: Mental Health Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic in New York State

As of February 2021, more than 1.4 million New Yorkers have been infected by the coronavirus and more than 43,000 have died from COVID-19. A wide body of research shows that people commonly experience fear, anxiety, and stress during and after a disaster, so it is not surprising that the coronavirus pandemic is taking a toll on the mental health of New Yorkers.

In addition to anxiety about the coronavirus itself, many New Yorkers are struggling with the societal changes resulting from the pandemic, such as isolation from community, uncertainty about the future, or new childcare responsibilities. The financial strain caused by widespread job loss decreases New Yorkers’ ability to afford mental health care and increases other risk factors for poor mental health. 

Using survey data from the U.S. Census Bureau, a new NYSHealth report analyzes mental health in New York State during the pandemic. For example, in October 2020, 37% of adult New Yorkers reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depression in the prior week. The report examines mental health by race and ethnicity, age, and household income, and compares symptoms among New Yorkers who did and did not experience a loss in household employment income during the pandemic. It also outlines current efforts underway as well as additional solutions to address the unmet need for mental health services in New York State.

Read the report.