Suicidal thoughts rise among young adults amid COVID-19, Florida group aims to help

by | Aug 31, 2020


A new report by the Centers for Disease Control showed that during the month of June, U.S. adults reported considerably elevated adverse mental health conditions associated with COVID-19 and the widespread changes to daily routines.

Mental health conditions are disproportionately affecting specific populations, especially young adults, Hispanic persons, black persons, essential workers, unpaid caregivers for adults, and those receiving treatment for preexisting psychiatric conditions.

With mental health concerns escalating and one-fourth of young adults seriously considering suicide as the COVID-19 crisis persists, a leading behavioral health services organization is highlighting Suicide Prevention Awareness Month in September. The Florida Association of Managing Entities, the statewide behavioral health care safety net, encourages Floridians who need help during these stressful times to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or text “Hello” to 741741 to be connected with a crisis counselor.

The CDC survey found that 25% of respondents ages 18 to 24 had seriously considered suicide during the past month, making it more important than ever that Floridians be aware of mental health services available to them. Florida’s seven Managing Entities are non-profit organizations that manage more than 300 providers that deliver mental health and substance abuse services to more than 300,000 low-income individuals. In order to maintain this important care during the COVID-19 pandemic, providers have made the shift to telehealth and telephonic services.

“Since the start of COVID-19, we have seen continued requests for mental health and substance abuse services from Floridians,” said Natalie K. Kelly, Chief Executive Officer of the Florida Association of Managing Entities. “Because of the obstacles preventing them from seeing many of their patients in person right now, providers are committed to meeting Floridians’ mental health care needs however it takes – including by telehealth and telephone.”

In addition to behavioral health services, the Managing Entities system provides “wraparound services” that address housing, employment, and transportation needs.

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