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If you have felt more anxious, depressed, or generally unwell since the pandemic, you are not alone. Between 40 to 55 percent of adults in the U.S. are reported to have experienced a negative impact on their mental health since the emergence of the novel coronavirus. Symptoms include worrying about your own health or the health of loved ones, worsening mental health, difficulty sleeping or concentrating, and increased use of alcohol, tobacco, and other substances.

Of most concern is the alarming increase of suicidal thoughts and suicidal deaths across the nation, particularly in adolescents and young adults who no longer have access to in-person socialization and important health services provided by schools and universities, such as counseling services. Suicide remains the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. and the second leading cause of death among adolescents ages 12 to 17.

After countless changes to our normal lives, we are experiencing COVID fatigue – feeling tired of isolating, of being cautious, and of uncertainty. The most effective means of coping with the stresses of the pandemic is to take care of ourselves and those around us. Understand the symptoms of the coronavirus and contact a health professional if you or a loved one develop symptoms. Learn how and where to get treatment in your area. Take time to care for your emotional health by taking breaks from the news and social media and by staying in contact with friends and family through phone calls or video chats.

If in spite of your best efforts, you or your family experience worsening anxiety or depression, contact your primary care provider for a referral to a mental health professional in your community.