UM: Students Reporting Huge Spike in Anxiety, Depression During COVID-19

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Continuing with a national trend, a University of Michigan study found that college students reported record levels of anxiety and depression during the fall semester of the 2020 school year, during nationwide COVID-19 lockdowns.

“The UM Healthy Minds Study, an annual web-based survey looking at mental health and service utilization among undergraduate and graduate students, found that 47% of respondents screened positive for clinically significant symptoms of depression and/or anxiety – up from 44% last year and the highest since the survey started in 2007,” according to Michigan Live.

The survey’s respondents included 32,754 students from 36 different colleges and universities.

Though the study did not conclude that the uptick in mental health issues are a direct result of the COVID-19 lockdowns which have isolated many Americans, the trends remain disturbing.

“Approximately 83% of students reported at least one day of academic impairment due to mental health in the last four weeks, and … 28% of students had more than six days of impairment in the last four weeks,” the survey found. “That’s up from 22% in spring 2020.”

According to the study, 66 percent of students reported feeling isolated sometimes or often.

Though the effects of COVID-19 lockdowns on mental health have not been studied in full, and likely won’t be after the lockdowns are lifted, early data shows that young people have suffered significantly from lack of socialization.

The Virginia Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently released the stunning results of surveys conducted among pediatricians, who reported significant increases in mental health issues among their patients.

As The Virginia Star reported, of the 203 providers surveyed by the AAP, 98 percent reported an increase in patients with childhood anxiety, and 95 percent of pediatricians reported an uptick in patients with childhood depression.

“Even more concerning is the increase in suicidal ideation in children and adolescents with 58% of providers reporting an increase,” the AAP said. “This is in line with what others are reporting throughout the country.”

Twenty-nine percent of pediatricians reported an increase in substance abuse among their patients, and 43 percent reported an increase in eating disorders.

For now, the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. Though lockdown restrictions have been loosened in many states while Americans wait to be vaccinated, some health officials are warning that certain COVID-19 measures, like mask mandates, could stay in effect until 2022.

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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Michigan Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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