Anxiety and depression have declined in Wisconsin since 2021; remain high for women and people of color

According new data analyzed by Quote Wizardthe number of people in Wisconsin with symptoms of anxiety and depression has decreased by 11% since 2021.

Using data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Household Pulse Survey, the analyzes assessed each state’s frequency of anxiety or depression from April 2020 to May 2022, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data shows that people struggling with the two mental health conditions in each state have changed significantly over the past two years as levels of anxiety and depression have increased in the first year of the pandemic, have significantly decreased in 2021 and are increasing again.

Looking specifically at the state of Wisconsin, the key findings show that 27% of people now have anxiety and/or depression, and there has been a 13% decrease in people with anxiety and a decrease 10% of people suffering from depression since 2021.

Myra McNair, licensed psychotherapist, founder and executive director of the Anesis Center for Marriage and Family Therapy in Madison, shares more about these results by comparing them to what she has experienced in her work. While it was evident that the numbers of anxiety and depression were increasing in 2020 throughout Dane County and the United States in general, McNair and his team at Anesis did not find that the numbers decreased in 2020. 2021, but instead found the rates remained the same or even increased as they received more referrals after opening the backup. This was especially true when schools resumed in-person sessions, as referrals of young people began to increase at their clinic, not necessarily because there were new cases, but because more people were able to notice that young people had mental health problems.

“There was a trend in many different kinds of services where the numbers kind of seemed to go down, but that was just because people were at home. So when we opened things up a bit more, we saw an increase in referrals and an increase in need, but the need was still there,” says McNair.

Key findings from the State of Wisconsin also found that women, people of color (POC), and gay or lesbian people have higher rates of anxiety and depression. McNair explains that while this issue of POC and gay individuals with mental health issues at higher rates was ever present, the health disparities faced by these communities were magnified by COVID, causing a huge increase in levels of anxiety and depression. In addition to health disparities, communities of color also face racial hatred, which contributes to these high levels.

“We have dealt with so much racial hatred on top of dealing with COVID. You know, there was the murder of George Floyd, there was Asian hate where Asians were being targeted and blamed for COVID, with the Latinx community, we had the whole immigration issue,” McNair explains. “So it’s a lot to navigate and manage. And so it’s like, whose mental health wouldn’t be extremely bad, like your anxiety and your depression and things like that? »

Although the problem of racism has no short-term solution, McNair still believes that to help reduce the higher rates of mental health issues among people of color, the community must strive to be anti-racist or become active in creating change within ourselves, our families and our communities. Some other solutions include creating peer support programs that can help alleviate the problem of shortages of mental health professionals, having universities and governments step in and help black and brown people through education. higher to increase the number of POC providers, and to do something as simple as having a conversation about mental health with ourselves and loved ones.

“This very simple thing that I think everyone should do that doesn’t cost money is just to be really open to talking about mental health, checking in on each other, checking in on yourself. and really like normalizing it. [mental health] for people, especially in black and brown communities, is really huge,” McNair says.

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