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500% Increase in Mental Health Screenings

Written by Bruce Cruser

Bruce Cruser has been Executive Director of Mental Health Virginia since 2016, bringing a background in social work and community corrections, and many years of leadership experience in local and state government.

November 17, 2020

When the pandemic hit, there was a tremendous increase in the number of people concerned about their mental health.

The first step is knowing.

Online screening is one of the quickest and easiest ways to determine whether you are experiencing symptoms of a mental health condition. Mental Health America provides free, on-line preliminary tests for depression, anxiety, and several other mental health conditions. Following screening, you are provided with information, resources and tools to help you understand and improve your mental health.

10,086 Virginians took one of MHA’s mental health on-line screenings between July and September 2020, an increase of 500% over the same quarter a year ago.

  • 54% of those taking the anonymous screens identified as students
  • 71% were female
  • 23% LGBTQ
  • 58% White, 15% Black, 9% Latinx and 8% Asian.

The most common screens taken were for depression and anxiety,

  • 33% showed moderate to severe depression
  • 16% showed moderate to severe anxiety.

When asked: “What are the three main things contributing to your mental health problems right now?,” responses were:

  • Loneliness/social isolation (65%)
  • Past trauma (49%)
  • Relationship problems (41%)

Online screening tools are meant to be a quick snapshot of your mental health. If your results indicate you may be experiencing symptoms of a mental illness, consider sharing your results with someone. A mental health provider (such as a doctor or a therapist) can give you a full assessment and talk to you about options for how to feel better.

The more we look at mental health as part of everyone’s overall health, the easier it is to talk about it, and to ask for help if you’re not feeling well.

Mental health conditions are common and treatable. The sooner you get help, the better the outcomes.

You can take a Mental Health Screening at:

Bruce Cruser, Executive Director

Mental Health America of Virginia

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