NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough for a lot people mentally.
Symptoms of depression and anxiety have spiked and remained well above normal since March 2020, according to The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.
They add, at the peak of the pandemic, more than 40% of Tennesseans were reporting symptoms of depression or anxiety.
They found increases in depression and anxiety have been especially significant for younger people, with ages 18-39 reporting symptoms at a rate higher than the average.
Since Thursday is National Depression Screening Day, and it also happens to be "Mental Health Awareness Week" several organizations are providing valuable resources to get people help.
The Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services is encouraging community members to take a moment to take a quick free screening in honor of National Depression Screening Day.
The screenings online feature questions that anyone can ask themselves or a loved one to quickly evaluate their current mental health; based on those results people can pursue additional help their primary care physician, a family member or trusted friend.
Suicides were the leading cause of violent deaths in Tennessee in 2019, and the director of the Zero Suicide Initiative with Mental Health America Mid-South Chance Littrell said we must address the problem.
Which was why last year, during the pandemic, Mental Health America created the Zero Suicide Initiative.
"I think that through that isolation, it's been really difficult for a lot of people. So, from our perspective, you know, the more people that we can train the more people that we can educate and just increase awareness with regards to suicide prevention,” Zero Suicide initiative with Mental Health America Director Chance Littrell said.
To take the depression screening, click here.
If you think someone you know is contemplating suicide, Mental Health of America has some tips.
You can also contact the National Suicide Prevention lifeline, 1-800-273-8255, is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Another resource is Lifeline Chat, a service of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, connecting individuals with counselors for emotional support and other services via web chat. All chat centers in the Lifeline network are accredited by CONTACT USA. Lifeline Chat is available 24/7 across the U.S.