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The Economy and Pandemic Are Improving, Mental Health Is Not

With vaccination rates increasing and states reopening, many are hopeful that the pandemic is finally nearing its end. Despite the optimism around the pandemic’s progress, a national survey conducted by researchers from Northwestern, Harvard, Northeastern, and Rutgers finds that depression and other mental health issues have not improved since the winter.

Previously, the researchers have shown that mental distress is closely tied to poor economic conditions, so one would expect to see improvements as the economy improved. Instead, of those surveyed, over a fourth (28%) meet moderate levels of depression that would result in evaluation and treatment. While the numbers have slightly decreased from 30% in December 2020, depression rates are three times the levels before the pandemic.