Concerns around the pandemic’s negative impact on Americans’ mental health are as widespread as some major economic concerns. Policymakers must not ignore mental health in responding to this crisis.
Economic concerns are real and pressing, but it’s notable that as many Americans are deeply concerned about the impact the crisis will have on mental health as are worried about losing their job.
47% of Americans are extremely or very concerned about lost wages,
28% are extremely or very concerned about losing their job, and
28% are extremely or very concerned about the impact on Americans’ mental health.
The coronavirus crisis is taking a toll on Americans’ mental health, with a majority saying it has already affected their mental health.
55% of Americans say the situation has already affected their mental health either a great deal or somewhat, compared to the only 19% who say the situation has not affected their mental health at all.
71% of Americans say they are concerned that “social distancing” measures will have a negative impact on the country’s mental health – including 28% who are extremely or very concerned about this.
Women, Americans younger than 50 years old, and those living in cities are the most likely to say the crisis has already affected their mental health. Specifically:
62% of women say their mental health has already been affected,
60% of Americans under 50 years old say their mental health has already been affected, and
57% of Americans living in cities say their mental health has already been affected.
Importantly, most are expecting the current crisis to last for “several months or more.”
85% of Americans say it will be at least several months before life goes “back to normal,” including 33% who believe life will not go back to normal for more than a year – if ever.
For the Pulse of America poll, Benenson Strategy Group conducted a 20-minute national survey among a representative sample of 1,550 adults using BSG’s proprietary SMS Research Methodology. The poll fielded from March 22-24, 2020. The questions on mental health were asked of a half split of n=775 adults.