Mental Health during the Coronavirus Pandemic: the “Shadow Pandemic”

shadow pandemic

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, anxiety and depression are rising. There are many concerns being raised about what is being called the “shadow pandemic,” a mental health crisis caused from the Coronavirus pandemic.

Nearly half of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll. A federal emergency hotline for people in emotional distress registered a more than 1,000 percent increase in April compared with the same time last year. Last month, roughly 20,000 people texted that hotline, run by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. In the United States, 1 in 5 adults endure the consequences of mental illness each year.

The uncertainty, the isolation, the anxiety, the change to our “normal,” is causing a mental strain on everyone. Increased depression, anxiety, substance use, trauma, suicide, domestic violence, the list goes on. But it doesn’t have to turn into this “shadow pandemic’ because help is here. Just like going to a doctor for a medical health issue, speaking to a licensed professional for a mental health issue is just as important.

Anyone who has had experience with mental illness, personally or professionally, can tell you that despite advances in psychiatry and psychology, a great deal of stigma remains. The stigma associated with mental illness can be divided into two types: social stigma, which involves the prejudiced attitudes others have around mental illness; and self-perceived stigma, which involves an internalized stigma the person with the mental illness suffers from. And both are very real. We have to break the stigma. If you are struggling with mental health issues, you are not alone. If you aren’t struggling with any mental health issues personally, educate people around you about the reality that mental illness is more common than people realize and speak out against stigma. Mental health matters.


If you’re struggling with anxiety, depression, mental illness, drug and alcohol addictions, or an eating disorder, you don’t have to go through this alone. Georgia HOPE has virtual, online, programs, so that you can get the support you need.

We are currently providing Mental Health and Substance Use services throughout the state of Georgia via TeleMental Health. We offer self-pay options as well as insurance coverage.

If you, or someone you know, are interested in services, you can submit a referral online to us to start the first steps or call us at 706-279-0405.

If you’re interested in learning more about our services, please contact us here.

We are all in this together. Stay well! #HOPEisHere

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