Depression rates second highest in nation; researcher issues warning call to state leaders

West Virginia

How will West Virginia weather through depression and COVID?

WEST VIRGINIA (WTRF) – West Virginia is one of the most depressed states in the nation, according to research from QuoteWizard. So, how does that weather in a pandemic?

West Virginia came in second in the country for highest levels of depression rates, with over 24% of West Virginians having some level of depression. This is according to CDC depression rates from 2014 to 2018.

States with higher levels were the same states that lacked access to mental health care. So, why is this a concern now? With a magnitude of layoffs happening across the nation, millions of Americans have lost their employer-provided health plans, potentially perpetuating mental health issues.

We are seeing an increase of depression rates to a lower level of access to mental health care.
So, with Coronavirus happening, there’s a heightened level of stress and anxiety.
So, with a state that already has a high level of depression, we’ve seen an increasing trend.
We’re likely to see that increase exponentially in the state of West Virginia.

Adam Johnson, Research Analyst for QuoteWizard

As an analyst, there’s not really a solution to be offered up. But, states with good access to mental-health care tended to see a reduction of increased depression rates over that period of 5 years when the study was done.

Johnson does say West Virginia is a participating state in Medicaid expansion,
which opens doorways to getting those hit hard by pandemic stressors, the help they need.

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