Feeling anxious or on edge these days? You’re not alone.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge across the U.S., about one-third of all Hoosiers are feeling nervous, anxious or on edge at least several days a week, according to a new federal survey. About one in five Hoosiers reported feeling anxious nearly every day.
The U.S. Census Bureau released survey data last week that found Americans are showing high levels of anxiety and depression, and many are unable to stop worrying.
In direct response to the high levels of stress and anxiety due to the pandemic, Indiana officials on Monday launched a crisis hotline, which will allow Hoosiers to speak confidentially with a trained counselor at any hour free of charge.
The Be Well Crisis Helpful is available through Indiana 211, according to an announcement from the Indiana Family & Social Services Administration’s Division of Mental Health and Addictions.
The state said the pandemic has caused a rise in mental health-related issues across Indiana and the entire country, including new stresses brought on by social isolation and the lack of traditional support systems such as family, friends, schools, and other community organizations.
“Our intent is to provide easy and free access to counselors who can listen and help by simply calling 2-1-1,” FSSA Secretary Jennifer Sullivan said in a statement. “As Hoosiers continue to cope with the ‘new normal’ of life during a pandemic, with massive disruptions in their everyday lives, and with emotions ranging from bored to terrified, it was imperative to build a helpline that could literally be a lifeline for many.”
Indiana 211 is a free service that connects Hoosiers with assistance and answers from thousands of health and human service resources across the state.
The need for counseling seems to be clear from the Census data, which said that more than 154 million respondents across the country, or 62%, reported feeling nervous, anxious or on edge within the last seven days. In Indiana, that figure was 59%, with 18% reporting those feelings “nearly every day.”
In cities across the nation, the average number of people feeling anxious for at least several days a week was highest in Riverside, California (66%), followed by Phoenix, New York City and Houston (62% each), and Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Miami (61% each). No cities in Indiana were among the top 15 in the nation for average level of anxiety.
The Census Bureau surveyed nearly 250 million Americans (including more than 5 million Hoosiers) over the age of 18 between July 2 and July 7 on their state of mental health over the previous week.
More than 1 million of the respondents in Indiana said they used money from savings or selling assets to meet spending needs in the previous week. More than 500,000 said they borrowed money from friends or family.
Additional information about mental health resources for Hoosiers and the crisis hotline can be found at BeWellIndiana.org.