NEW YORK (WPIX) — The federal COVID-19 relief bill approved in March set aside $5 billion for mental health assistance, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says that funding needs to be released now.
The New York Democrat said on Sunday that Americans — and the mental health providers they rely on — need help to combat the silent but devastating effects of the pandemic.
A study published in January on the psychological impact of COVID-19 and restrictive measures to mitigate its spread found that more than half of those who participated had higher than average levels of stress, depression and/or anxiety.
Even as more Americans are vaccinated against the virus every day, a return to some pre-pandemic behaviors in a post-pandemic world can bring about its own triggers.
Schumer said timely access to mental health care is critical to combating pandemic-related stress and other serious conditions.
In releasing the federal funding, New York would benefit from a surge in mental health support programs and increased access to a variety of care options, according to the lawmaker.
If you or someone you know are struggling with mental health or suicidal thoughts, click here for resources.