This week, Congress passed a $900 billion stimulus package in response to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. While much of the bill is focused on helping those struggling financially from the coronavirus pandemic, there are also funds set aside to help those struggling mentally as well.
Over Four Billion Dollars for Mental Health & Substance Use Services in Bill
Along with money for performing arts centers, small businesses, and farmers, the pandemic relief bill includes $4.25 billion dollars to increase mental health and substance use services for those in need, including $50 million for suicide prevention programs. The hope is that this money will help expand addiction and mental health care as well as make these services more accessible to those in need.
This addiction and mental health support in the pandemic bill come at a much-needed time as behavioral health issues have been on the rise. In a survey of the American people from late June, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that 40.9% of adults had reported struggling with at least one mental health or substance use condition. Anxiety and depression were especially high among respondents with over 30% reporting symptoms.1
The rate of suicidal idealization and behavior has also risen with the coronavirus pandemic. An alarming 10.7% of people surveyed had admitted to seriously considering suicide within the last 30 days.1 In 2018 only 4.3% of American adults had reported seriously considering suicide in the last 12 months.1
Not only are these mental health symptoms hard to deal with on their own, but also in some cases they are leading to other behavioral health conditions. Of those surveyed, 13.3% of respondents had admitted to starting or increasing their substance use during the coronavirus pandemic in an attempt to cope with the stress or their emotions.1
With such staggering numbers surrounding people’s mental and behavioral health from COVID-19, the addiction and mental health support in the pandemic relief fund is meant to help provide aid to those in need and start lowering these numbers. Unfortunately, while the coronavirus vaccine may be a solution to the physical health effects of the disease, the behavioral health effects may linger.
Healing from poor mental health takes time and often helps. At Vertava Health, we recently opened a behavioral health center near Columbus, Ohio to help more people in need during this trying time. If you or someone you love is struggling, stop waiting to find a solution. Contact us today to see if we can help you.