TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — New data shows the effect the pandemic is having on mental health in America.
One report shows a 300% increase in anxiety and depression symptoms since the start of the pandemic.
"Before the pandemic people were struggling with anxiety, depression, other metal health diagnosis at about 10% of the U.S. population," said Lakilia Ahmed. "Now that's up to 40%."
Ahmed is the clinical manager of behavioral health services offed by Quality or Life Medical Center in Tucson.
She is citing a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit focusing on national health issues.
As a therapist, Ahmed agrees with the findings of the study.
She says she sees people having to deal with a lot more over the past 12 months, on top of the usual things that cause stress and anxiety.
"Now they're struggling with the pandemic, race relations, politics, employment issue," according the Ahmed. "So, depression and anxiety are definitely on the increase. There's more of a need for services."
Ahmed says her clinic, associated with evolvedMD, has seen an increase in patients who have never sought help before.
"Never experienced anything that they could put a name to," Ahmed said. "Didn't know what it was called. Didn't know what they were experiencing, is this everyday depression or is it clinical. Do I need help? Do I need outside help? People are more open to that now, which is good. So, that's one of the things that we try to do as well, provide psycho education to the patient, to the family so that they can help support the person who might be struggling with mental illness."
Ahmed says in therapy, they help patients learn and use coping skills to mange the anxiety and manage the depression.
To contact behavioral health services offed by Quality or Life Medical Center call (520) 733-2250.