Mental Health an Emerging Crisis of COVID Pandemic

May 8, 2020
By Katherine Kam

Americans are reporting high levels of emotional distress from the coronavirus pandemic — levels that some experts warn may lead to a national mental health crisis.

“Our society is definitely in a collective state of trauma,” said Jonathan Porteus, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist who oversees the crisis and suicide hotline in Sacramento, CA. Unlike posttraumatic stress disorder, which surfaces after a trauma has ended, the country is only starting to grapple with the pandemic’s psychological fallout, he said.

“We do see an emerging potential crisis,” said Karestan Koenen, PhD, a professor of psychiatric epidemiology at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, during an online forum this week.

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