I've Been Thinking...
One of my favorite quotes speaks to the importance of being kind to everyone, since everyone is fighting some kind of battle whether we know it or not.
I thought a lot about that this week because it felt like every conversation I had with others was about some personal struggle. One of my oldest and closest friends quietly told me that she finally called her doctor and asked for medication to help manage her depression, anxiety, and insomnia, which have gotten the best of her during this lockdown. Another friend told me that he was relieved to finally attend a small in-person AA meeting. In that gathering, he said several people spoke about the increased rate of suicide during lockdown and how challenging it’s been for all of them to stay sober during this isolating time.
Another friend spoke to me this week about the exact same thing and asked me why the media isn’t covering the devastating mental health toll of Covid-19. The impact of unemployment. The loss of health care. The rise in suicide, depression, anxiety, and loneliness. The loss of human connection.
“Maria these are Covid collateral stories,” my friend said to me. “You must shine a light on all of this.”
“Agreed,” I said.
So, here are some stats I want to shine a light on: A new study from Everytown for Gun Safety finds that the economic downturn caused by Covid-19 could cause about 20 more lives lost per day by suicide, this year alone. According to Census Bureau data, a third of Americans are feeling severe anxiety right now and a quarter of Americans are showing signs of depression. And a recent poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that the pandemic has negatively affected the mental health of 56% of adults. Think about those sobering statistics.