Mental health survey finds churchgoers, Republicans faring better during pandemic

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An annual survey regarding Americans’ mental health status noted that the lingering pandemic is still having a negative impact, but people who regularly attend church are doing much better than Democrats, the latter of whom rate their mental health extremely low.

The Gallup annual mental-health self-assessment survey results show that just 34 percent of Americans said their mental health is “excellent,” which is a 21-year low for the poll, though that is about the same level as last year.

“Those reporting the best mental state were the faithful: 44% of weekly churchgoers said their mental health was ‘excellent,’ more than any subgroup tracked by Gallup and the only one to register higher levels of emotional health in 2021 than in 2019, before the pandemic,” the Washington Times added.

But just 28 percent of Democrats adjudged their mental health to be “excellent,” though the survey was conducted about a year after Joe Biden defeated incumbent President Donald Trump.

By comparison, 42 percent of Republicans and 33 percent of Independents reported having “excellent mental health, though those levels were far below pre-pandemic ratings in 2019 of 56 percent for Republicans and 44 percent for Independents.

“Today, another 47% rate their mental health as ‘good,’ which is a slight improvement from 42% last year. But the combined excellent/good score of 81% is still slightly below its pre-pandemic level of 85%,” Gallup noted.

“While COVID-19 is seemingly taking a toll on Americans’ mental health, there has not been any appreciable change in ratings of their physical health. Currently, 27% of U.S. adults say their physical health is excellent, and 51% say it is good,” the survey report continued. “These ratings are similar to a year ago and close to the averages for the 21-year trend. Americans’ current assessment of their physical health as excellent trails their mental health rating, which has been a consistent pattern since 2001.”

Gallup concluded: “As the pandemic wears on, Americans’ rating of their mental health, which fell to a new low last year, remains below the 21-year average for the trend. Mental health ratings among women, lower-income earners and Democrats are particularly low. Americans who attend religious services weekly are notably more emotionally resilient than those who are less religious.”

In May, the Century Foundation, a left-wing think tank, published a report claiming to have uncovered “evidence to support the claim that current mental health challenges constitute a public health emergency.”

The report noted:

— “Moderate to severe anxiety peaked at 37.3 percent of the adult population during the pandemic, up from 6.9 percent in 2019.”

— “The greatest concern is anxiety among young adults: during the pandemic, 43.5 percent reported moderate to severe anxiety.”

— “Income is a key indicator of mental health. Households with income less than $25,000 are 20.1 percentage points more likely to report moderate to severe anxiety than a household with income that is $200,000 or more.”

The report warned that if the “mental health crisis” was not addressed in full, there will be more “deaths of dispair” moving forward, even after the pandemic has receded, which is currently the case.

“The federal government must take additional administrative and legislative action to address the mental health needs of those disproportionately impacted by anxiety and depression since the start of the pandemic,” the Century Foundation noted.

Not long after the pandemic began, and as most of the country was being locked down to flatten the spread, CNN reported that prescriptions for antidepressants skyrocketed.

Jon Dougherty


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