25% of Young Adults Seriously Considered Suicide in June

CDC looks at America's mental health during the pandemic
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2020 11:33 AM CDT
CDC: Thoughts of Suicide Way Up During Pandemic
People wait to speak with representatives from the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission about unemployment claims on July 9, 2020, in Midwest City, Okla.   (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

The pandemic-related mental health crisis experts have been warning about seems to have arrived. A quarter of adults aged 18 to 24 say they've seriously contemplated suicide in the past month, according to a CDC survey of 5,412 people conducted from June 24 to 30. Young adults aren't the only ones. Some 31% of unpaid caregivers and 22% of essential workers said they'd considered suicide in the previous 30 days, as did 19% of all Hispanic respondents and 15% of Black respondents, which Politico reports was "well above the average." Overall, 10.7% of the respondents said they fell into that category; the CDC notes that in 2018, 4.3% of respondents reported suicidal ideation in the previous 12 months.

Other findings: More than 40% of respondents, and more than half of essential workers, reported an adverse mental or behavioral health condition related to the pandemic, along with 75% of 18- to 24-year-olds. Some 31% of respondents said they had symptoms of anxiety or depression, 26% described a pandemic-related trauma or stress disorder, and 13% reported turning to substance use to cope, including 33% of unpaid caregivers. "Where the symptoms are extreme, those people need help," Nadine Kaslow, a professor of psychiatry at the Emory University School of Medicine, tells USA Today. Especially for young adults in college or entering the workforce, "there's no sense of the future" which is "really distressing," she says. That's why "we have to take care of each other for the long haul." The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is open 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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