The Mental Health Crisis

The Mental Health Crisis.

It’s slowly penetrating public awareness. But considering the scope of this socio-economic catastrophe, it doesn’t get nearly enough attention from government, the media, or even or our healthcare system.

This Crisis is (by far) the largest single health issue on the planet today. Not only does it impact vast numbers of people, it has a profound impact on our economies – in several different ways.

The Mental Health Pandemic

The numbers are staggering.

Prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, over 1 billion people were afflicted with stress-related disorders like depression, addiction, anxiety and PTSD. Approximately 1 in 6 people on the planet.

To put this into perspective, for every person who has been infected with COVID-19 globally (including the 80+% already cured), there are 10 people suffering from these stress-related disorders. And that was before the coronavirus pandemic itself (and oppressive government lockdowns) caused these numbers to spike higher.

How much worse has this mental health pandemic gotten since the coronavirus pandemic began?

Depression/anxiety

  • Overall, the percentage of Americans suffering from depression had already more-than-tripled by September 2020, from 8.5% to 27.8% (91.75 million Americans) [source: Boston University]
  • Rates of “moderately severe depression” among Americans have quadrupled (from 2% to 8%) and rates of “severe depression” have more than quintupled (from less than 1% to 5%) [source: WebMD]
  • The depression/anxiety pandemic continues to worsen: between August 2020 and January 2021, the percentage of Americans experiencing anxiety or depression jumped from 36% to 42% [source: CDC]

Substance abuse

  • As of August 2020, sales of alcohol in the U.S. had risen by 27%, along with a 32% increase in non-prescribed fentanyl, 20% increase in methamphetamines, 12.5% increase in heroin, 10% increase in cocaine, leading to an 18% increase in drug overdoses [source: EHS Today]
  • By June 2020 (only 3 months after the start of the pandemic in the U.S.), more than 1 in 8 Americans (13%) had either started or increased their use of recreational drugs due to COVID-related stress [source: CDC]
  • By June 2020, U.S. drug overdose deaths had reached their highest level ever, 81,000 overdose deaths from June 2019 to June 2020 [source: Statnews]

If this isn’t dire enough already, new numbers indicate that those who contract COVID-19 have a greatly elevated risk of mental health disorders.

A third of COVID survivors suffer neurological or mental disorders: study

One in three COVID-19 survivors in a study of more than 230,000 mostly American patients were diagnosed with a brain or psychiatric disorder within six months, suggesting the pandemic could lead to a wave of mental and neurological problems, scientists said on Tuesday.

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The writer holds shares in MindMed Inc and Cybin Inc.

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