Spectrum News: Pandemic Places Renewed Focus on Mental Health Care


October 22, 2020

The mental health effects of the pandemic may not be understood for months or years after it finally ends.

But groups that provide mental health care and advocate for it, as well as Governor Andrew Cuomo, are highlighting the mental strains created for people during the crisis.

Cuomo on Wednesday at his news conference in Albany spoke of the “COVID fatigue” people may be facing after seven months of restrictions and fear of contracting the virus, mixed also with dread of a coming winter that could lead to a return of the worst of the pandemic from earlier in the year.

“I’m just telling you as a member of society, I have friends that I’m worried about,” Cuomo said.

“I speak to friends and my family who I am worried about – you can hear it in their voice. There is an emotional toll – one day they will be talking about PTSD from COVID. They will be. And then they will be up here with some mental health experts and some psychiatrists who are talking about the PTSD effect on children, on seniors, on all individuals who are suffering from the anxiety and stress from COVID. That is going to happen.”

The Healthy Minds, Healthy Kids campaign agreed. In a statement, the group pointed to the mental health toll the pandemic has taken on kids amid uncertainty over school, being unable to socialize, as well as the struggles the worst of the world is facing.

“Roughly half of children in need of mental health services in New York fail to receive them,” the group said. “As a result of the pandemic, children and teens are grappling with unprecedented economic devastation, housing insecurity, social isolation, disrupted schooling, and a grave loss of life in their families and local communities. Consequently, child psychiatrists have seen a significant spike in anxiety and depression among young people and report a growth in young people coming to hospitals with dangerous psychiatric emergencies.”

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