Understanding the nuances of mental health are key for COVID-19 recovery

July 15, 2022

Over the past two years, New Yorkers have had to withstand feelings of uncertainty, disconnectedness, and in some cases outright trauma, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In May 2020, the New York State Health Foundation found that 35% of New Yorkers reported symptoms of anxiety and depression, two to three times the rate reported prior to the pandemic. In February 2021, that number rose to 40%, before declining to 32% in May 2021. The World Health Organization estimated a 25% increase in the global prevalence of anxiety and depression during the same period.

The pandemic forced people to contend with mental health in a way they hadn’t previously, including both patients who faced new challenges, and providers who often had to learn to deliver services in new, more creative ways. That was also true for state policymakers, who in many cases have come to take a more nuanced and focused approach to mental health care policy. Nowhere is this clearer than in the bills passed during this year’s legislative session.

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