ALPHARETTA MILTON EDITION 2020 HEALTHCARE EDITION VOLUME XX, ISSUE XX XXXXXXXXXX, 2020
VOLUME 1, ISSUE 4 JUNE 18JULY 22, 2020
The unseen tolls of COVID19
Maddy Reinert, the program manager of population health for nonprot Mental Health America, said MHA oers nine free, online screenings for mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder and addiction tests—and from January to May, the number of people in Georgia taking any of the nine screenings increased 426%.
Daily anxiety screenings increased by 370% from January to May nationwide.
Daily depression screenings nationwide increased by 394% from January to May.
Depression screenings Anxiety screenings
CITY & COUNTY
The number of Georgians taking any of the screenings increased by 426% from January to May.
SOURCE: MENTAL HEALTH AMERICACOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER
January February March
Local professionals seeing ‘amounting health crisis’ since pandemic hit inMarch Mental health experts see surge in demand due to COVID19
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BY KARA MCINTYRE
2,620 in May—a 426% increase. The nine free, online screenings MHA offers include depression, anxiety, eating disorders, post traumatic stress disorder, addiction and other mental health disorder tests. “What we’re seeing really is a mounting health crisis,” said Maddy Reinert, the programmanager of pop- ulation health for MHA. As mental health issues rise, sub- stance abuse issues have also risen— and with bars closed and restaurants suspending eat-in dining, take-home alcohol sales statewide went up. According to numbers released by the Georgia Department of Revenue on May 6, the state collected $18.42
million in alcohol taxes in April, an increase of 12.95% from April 2019. Lynda Micheletti, the chief oper- ating ocer at Sunrise Detox, an Alpharetta alcohol and drug detox center, said she has seen an uptick in demand for both mental health and substance abuse resources since the pandemic hit, which she said can go hand-in-hand. “Behavioral health issues like men- tal illness and substance abuse have ties to each other,” Micheletti said. “Oftentimes people with mental illnesses like anxiety or depression will turn to substances to self-medi- cate or cope.” CONTINUED ON 14
Public health measures taken to slow the spread of COVID-19—such as business and school closures, shelter- in-place orders and social distancing protocols—have created a hidden ght for some residents of Alpharetta, Milton and nationwide: a battle with mental health and substance abuse. According to data from Mental Health America, a nonproit dedi- cated to spreading awareness about overall mental health and address- ing the needs of those living with mental illness, the number of Geor- gians taking any of the nine mental health screenings offered via MHA increased from 498 in January to
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