The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked emotional havoc on New Yorkers, according to the results of a city health department survey released Tuesday.
The survey, conducted in two separate periods in April and May of this year – after the virus peaked in New York City and began its slow decline – asked 1,200 New Yorkers from all walks of life about their knowledge, their views and experiences of the pandemic.
Forty-four percent of all respondents said they had symptoms of anxiety, while 36% said they had symptoms of depression. This represents a total of 80% of all those who responded to the survey.
Additionally, 35% of adults in a household with children said the pandemic had also had a negative impact on the emotional and behavioral well-being of their young people.
Along with the investigation, the Department of Health reported on Tuesday that 261 people committed suicide in New York City in the first six months of 2020 – actually a slight drop of nine from the 270 people who took committed suicide during the same period in 2019.
“The people of this city have been through so much stress and trauma, and what they share reflects the difficulty of the past few months,” said Dr David A. Chokshi, Commissioner for Health. “For anyone who needs help, we recommend reaching out, talking to someone, and connecting. We’re here for you. ”
The Department of Health investigation found that those New Yorkers most affected mentally during the pandemic were healthcare workers, adults with children in the household, adults fearing interpersonal violence with a current or former partner , and adults with a family member suffering from a chronic health problem. this makes them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.
Beyond the pandemic, other reasons cited for feeling anxious, stressed or depressed during the pandemic included fears of job losses or reduction of hours and other financial impacts. These reasons had a disproportionate impact on more Latino and Asian respondents than white adults.
Under stressful conditions, it’s natural for someone to feel overwhelmed, sad, anxious and / or scared. The Department of Health advises anyone who experiences such stress, anxiety, or depression to contact 888-NYC-WELL, text 65173, or visit nyc.gov/nycwell. Qualified counselors are available 24 hours a day at the NYC Well hotline.
Meanwhile, the health department offers these tips to help you cope with stress and manage your situation:
- Focus on the areas over which you have some control.
- Remember your strengths.
- Stay connected with your friends and loved ones.
- Use healthy coping skills.
- Connect with the community, including faith groups and leaders.
- Consider civic engagement, advocacy, and collective healing.
If you are feeling suicidal or fearful of someone you know, seek help immediately. Call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255.