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Access to mental health services dwindled as pandemic need strained providers: GAO report | TheHill

Access to mental health services dwindled as providers were strained and under the demand for care during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report made public on Friday. The GAO concluded that the number of people experiencing anxiety, depression and drug overdoses heightened during the pandemic, while mental health professionals dealt with layoffs, decreased hours and having to turn away patients. Respondents to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) surveys determined that about 38 percent reported symptoms of anxiety or depression between April 2020 and February 2021. Eleven percent said the same in 2019. Similarly, emergency departments saw 36 percent more visits for overdoses and 26 percent more visits for suicide attempts from mid-March to mid-October of last year, compared to the previous year.

The Hill - April 30, 2021

View the full story here: https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/551260-access-to-mental-health-services-dwindled-amid-increasing-demand-during