More Than 80% Of Americans Report One Or More Symptoms Of Depression, And Many Have Turned To Substances To Cope With Negative Emotions During COVID-19 Pandemic, According To Field Trip Health’s First Annual “State of Mind” Survey

The survey conducted by YouGov Plc found that:

  • More than 8 in 10 Americans report showing symptoms of depression
  • Many are turning to different substances and vices to cope
  • Women are bearing the brunt of the fallout worse than men
  • But close to 1 in 2 would try or be interested in learning more about psychedelic therapies for their mental health

Field Trip Health Ltd. (CNSX: FTRP; OTCMKTS: FTRPF) today announced the results of a survey commissioned by Field Trip and conducted by YouGov Plc to look into the state of mental and emotional health in the US.  After nearly 15 months of rolling global lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is to no one’s surprise that the survey results show a nation in the depths of a mental health crisis.  

Key Findings On Current Mental Health: Depressed and Unaware

The survey found that over eight in ten (81%) Americans reported at least one symptom of depression and close to half of Americans reported symptoms of mild or more severe depression according to validated depression metrics. Interestingly, even though these measures indicate a nation suffering with mental health challenges, 76% of respondents self-identified their mental health as “good” or better, suggesting a disconnect with one’s self-perceived state of mind and objective measures of mental health. 

The survey also showed that the impact of the pandemic is not being borne equally: 

  • Women are more likely than men to indicate negative mental states (with 24% describing their current mental health as either poor or fair, compared to 18% of men); and
  • Younger Americans are also more likely to rate their mental health as poor or fair:
    • 31% of 18-24 year olds 
    • 28% of 25-34 year olds
    • 23% of 35-49 year olds
    • 17% of 50-64 year olds 
    • 10% of 65+ year olds

The negative feelings Americans are feeling are so severe that in the two weeks prior to this survey alone, nearly 1 in 4 Americans (24%) indicated that they have felt that they would be better off dead or thought of injuring themselves. 

The survey also found that of all respondents, people in the Black community were the most likely to not demonstrate any symptoms of depression (27%) relative to Whites and Latinos (19% each). 

Coping Mechanisms

Not surprisingly, the survey found that Americans have turned to a number of different coping mechanisms to deal with the negative thoughts or emotions, with drugs and vices being a key source of respite for many. 

In particular: 

  • Alcohol. One out of 5 adults have used alcohol as a coping mechanism, and of those 37% reported increased consumption of alcohol since the start of the pandemic.  
  • Porn. 17% of men have used porn as a coping mechanism, and of those one in 3 (34%) reported increased use of porn since the COVID-19 crisis began.
  • Overeating. 25% of adults reported overeating as a coping mechanism, including 30% of women. Further, in the past year, there has been a 56% increase in overeating as a coping method with one out of 4 people experiencing significant weight gain. 
  • Prescription Medication. 20% of respondents reported turning to prescription medications, with White people being over 2x more likely to have utilized prescription medications than people in the Black community (24% vs. 11%). 23% of respondents of those who used prescription medications as a coping mechanism reported an increase in use of prescription medicine since the start of the pandemic. If a person lost a family member, they were 30% more likely to have increased use of prescription medicine (26% vs. 20%) and if they lost a friend, 45% more likely (29% vs. 20%).
  • Opioids. More than one in 10 (12%) of Americans between 25 – 34 reported having used opioids to cope. 20% of those between 25 – 49 who have used opioids to cope report increased use of opioids since the pandemic began.
  • Gambling. Of those who’ve ever used gambling as a coping mechanism, more than one in 4 (27%) reported an increase since the start of the pandemic.

What We Are Willing to Do To Feel Better

Despite much of the doom and gloom reflected in the survey, there was one silver lining: more people are willing to rely on professional support to help support their mental health. Specifically: 

  • 42% of Americans are likely to seek a therapist to support their mental health
  • 17% reported having received a mental illness diagnosis from a medical professional since March 2020.
    • Anxiety (8%) being the leading diagnosis within that time.
  • People are relying on therapy more, with:
    • 24% reporting an increase in outpatient therapy 
    • 17% reporting an increase in in-patient therapy

And even though 70% of Americans reported never having tried psychedelics, 37% would support the use of psychedelic-assisted therapies after a description of the process, 24% would be open to trying psychedelic therapies, with an additional 23% curious to learn more about it.

We didn’t need to commission a survey to show that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a mental health crisis globally. But what we found surprising was just how acute it has become, which confirms that all of us — from health care providers to politicians to each of us individually — need to respond to it in a thoughtful, conscious and proactive way.

Ronan Levy, Co-founder and Executive Chairman of Field Trip.

“It also confirmed to us that psychedelics are poised to play an integral role in how we respond to this challenge. With over a third of Americans expressing interest or openness to these safe psychedelic therapies, along with the continuing body of evidence, such the recent studies published by The New England Journal of Medicine and Nature Medicine showing that they are as good, and very likely orders of magnitude better, than conventional treatments, a psychedelic revolution in mental health seems near. Field Trip will be there to provide the infrastructure and next generation psychedelic medicines to make that possible.” 

With 6 locations operating (Toronto, New York, LA, Chicago, Atlanta and Houston), and 6 more under construction (Amsterdam, San Diego, San Carlos, Seattle, Washington DC and Fredericton), Field Trip Health has become one of the largest providers of psychedelic therapies in the world with clinics.

Survey Methodology

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2134 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 16th – 20th April 2021.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all US adults (aged 18+).

To view the original press release in its entirety click here

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