We are all relieved the world looks a lot different today than even a year
We are all relieved the world looks a lot different today than even a year ago. COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are widely available. Schools are open for in-person learning. Mask mandates are being phased out. People are tentatively returning to offices and workplaces, reuniting with colleagues.
Yet the fallout of the pandemic still demands our attention, particularly the urgent need to address a mental health crisis that has grown dramatically in scope and scale over the past two years. And no one is bearing a heavier burden than low-income and front-line workers, who face unique challenges – from high physical and mental job demands and financial insecurity to greater exposure to traumatic events.
Research conducted during the pandemic shows that people with low incomes are up to three times more likely to suffer with depression and anxiety. Front-line, essential workers experienced significantly higher rates of anxiety or depressive disorder, substance use, and suicidal thoughts compared to other employees.
Of course, it’s one thing to recognize the problem. But harder to offer helpful solutions.