It's well-documented that racial minorities experienced higher rates of infection during the pandemic. But the burden doesn't stop there, according to a new study published in the scientific journal Plus One.
Racial minorities experienced higher rates of depression and anxiety during the pandemic compared to their white counterparts, according to the study which surveyed 691,473 people in the United States and United Kingdom from January 23, 2021 to June, 9, 2021.
And the authors of the study concluded that the mental health impacts of Covid-19 on racial minorities are likely to last for years to come.
Black, Hispanic and Asian people were more likely to be depressed
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Likelihood to have anxiety or depression vary among racial minorities.
Black Americans were 1.16 times more likely to screen positive for depression than White respondents.
Hispanic Americans and Asian American were 1.23 and 1.15 times more likely to screen positive for depression, respectively. Similar results were seen in Black and Asian respondents in the U.K.
Mental Health America found similar results through their own screenings.
"We witnessed increasing numbers of people experiencing anxiety and suicidal ideation throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly among Black, Indigenous, and people of color," says Maddy Reinert, senior director of population health at Mental Health America.
Native Americans or those who identified as one or more race had the highest rate of moderate to severe anxiety, with 83% of those screened reporting moderate to severe symptoms.
Almost half, 46% of those who identified as Native American reported having thoughts of suicide and self-harm.
From 2019 to 2021, the number of Black respondents who screened for moderate to severe anxiety increased 5%. During the same years, suicidal ideation increased 9% among Black respondents.
"The early phase of COVID-19 pandemic was incredibly disruptive to everyday life," study authors told ScienceDaily.com.
"We found that racial and ethnic minorities in the U.S. and U.K. were more likely to screen positive for depression and anxiety. This suggests a disproportionate impact and mental health burden on persons of color, which need to be considered as we reshape health care systems to prioritize the long-term consequences of this disease."
If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at 988 for support and assistance from a trained counselor.
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