Prisma Health will now offer a free depression risk assessment due to the emotional and mental toll of the COVID-19 pandemic. The assessment is available online at PrismaHealth.org/DepressionQuiz.
The depression assessment comes as experts warn of a mental health crisis looming over the U.S. — and the world — due to the various effects of the pandemic on our normal lives. More than 30% of South Carolinians have shown symptoms of anxiety or depression disorder, according to a recent survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Times of stress, such as the COVID-19 outbreak, can cause fear and anxiety,” Geoffrey Williams, director of Prisma Health-Midlands outpatient behavioral care, explained in a release. “People have struggled with feeling isolated, especially those with chronic medical conditions who are still encouraged to stay home. People with chronic pain or chronic medical conditions are at a higher risk for depression.”
The pandemic’s economic stress has also led to issues in people’s mental health, Williams added. “Financial problems are a large driver of anxiety and depression issues.”
Individuals who choose to take Prisma’s depression assessment will receive a report detailing their symptoms as well as a recommendation on seeking additional screening for depression.
Williams explained that it is vital that people seek help if depression or anxiety impedes their daily life.
“Two good measures to track are sleep and appetite,” Williams said. “Those are good biological indicators of emotional health. If either or both change significantly – increase or decrease – for more than a week or two, you should tell your doctor.”