Mental health of caregivers suffering during pandemic, CDC says

Posted at 3:00 PM, Jun 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-17 15:00:04-04

ATLANTA, Ga. — While much of the attention during the pandemic has been paid to the problems children have faced, parents and parents caring for adults are also suffering from some difficult mental issues.

In a new study in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, researchers found the COVID-19 pandemic has been especially tough on parents, unpaid caregivers of adults, and parents-caregivers (persons in both roles)

The study of more than 10,000 U.S. adults found 70 percent of caregivers reported recent adverse mental health symptoms during late 2020 to early 2021. The symptoms included symptoms of depression, anxiety, COVID-19 TSRDs (trauma- and stressor-related disorders), or suicidal ideation.

The CDC said the problem was especially worrisome among parents taking care of both children and adults. In that group, the CDC found 85 percent reported experiencing adverse mental health symptoms and approximately 50 percent reported serious suicidal ideation in the past month.

According to the CDC, the results in the new study “suggest that parents and caregivers might benefit from tailored mental health services,” and “increasing access to, awareness of, and use of support groups and respite services might help to alleviate the caregiving workload.” The CDC also recommended more studies of the issue.