PODCAST: Reconnecting to behavioral health care in a time of crisis

The isolation, uncertainty, and fear of the COVID-19 pandemic have taken a major toll on behavioral health. A survey conducted last June by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 40% of Americans surveyed reported struggling with mental health or substance use. The prevalence of anxiety symptoms was three times higher than in the same period in 2019, and the prevalence of depression symptoms was four times higher.

However, the increased prevalence of behavioral health issues has had an unexpected upside: more people are talking about behavioral health than ever before. That increased attention has led to an increase in behavioral health care services during the pandemic. But there's still major unfulfilled demand for behavioral health care in Michigan. On this week's episode of Michigan's State of Health we talked with Kevin Fischer, executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness-Michigan, about how COVID has helped raise awareness of the importance of behavioral health, the new solutions that have been introduced as a result, and how to support Michiganders through the long-term behavioral health issues COVID is likely to create.

Michigan's State of Health is a spinoff of the State of Health series of feature stories, which you can read here. Michigan's State of Health is produced by Issue Media Group and made possible through the support of the Michigan Health Endowment Fund.

Photo by Doug Coombe.

Listen here:

Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.