Psychological fallout of COVID may be with us for years, APA CEO says

More than 140,000 children have lost a parent or a caregiver to COVID, according to the CBS News report. And getting help for these kids can be almost impossible.

“In most parts of the country, kids are seeing significant delays in getting the help that they need—not just weeks, but often months. And you know, that would be unacceptable if our kids had cancer, for example, and we were told that they can’t see a physician for four months,” Evans said.

The mental health situation is not going to get better even as the virus recedes and we start to return to some semblance of normal, he said.

“It’s going to be with us. Because what we know from research is that when people experience these kinds of traumas—people after 9/11, or Hurricane Katrina—we expect to see people experiencing problems for at least another seven to ten years out.”

The nation is already experiencing these effects, according to Evans. “We’re seeing the number of children going to emergency departments in psychiatric distress going up. We see a number of people who are dying because of overdose, over 100,000 people last year. We’re seeing the number of people who are experiencing anxiety and depression at four times the rate, it’s four times what it was before the pandemic.”

“If you look at the numbers of people that are affected, it’s clearly at the scale of a pandemic,” he said.

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