Study Finds at Least 35% of U.S. Workers Battle Depressive Symptoms Amid Coronavirus Pandemic but Few Seek Professional Help

As much as 35% of U.S. workers have battled depressive symptoms amid the coronavirus pandemic but few have been seeking professional help, a recent study published by the Society for Human Resource Management has found.

A new partnership between Quest Diagnostics, the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services, and Catapult Health, a virtual health care provider which features self-collected at-home specimen collection and mental healthcare support, hopes to change that for employees and their dependents, as many put off routine visits to the doctor for fear of getting COVID-19.

In the study, Navigating COVID-19: Impact of The Pandemic on Mental Health, researchers surveyed a random sample of 1,099 U.S. employees from the online panel Prolific from April 15-16. Some 89% of the employees worked for an organization, 11% were self-employed, 19% lived alone; 33% lived with one other person, while another 33% lived with two or more people.

A majority, 58% of the individuals in the study, also reported living with at least one person considered to be in a vulnerable population such as healthcare workers, essential employees, those over 65 years old or an immunocompromised person.

Researchers found that 22–35% of employees in the study reported experiencing symptoms of depression often, and as many as two in three reported experiencing depressive symptoms at least sometimes.

And to deal with their depression-related symptoms, more than half of these workers, 60%, reached out to a family member or friend (42%), a colleague (11%) or a mental health professional (7%) for help. Nearly 40% of employees reported doing nothing to cope with their depression-related symptoms.

David Michel, CEO of Catapult Health, said when employees skip seeing trained health professionals, the long-term consequences can be dire.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair

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