"The untold story of COVID’s impact on California’s mental health"

"In a place of more than 39 million people, with the equivalent of the world’s fourth largest economy, no statewide crisis could ever be considered minor. But there’s a kicker: Those effects, including debilitating mental and emotional issues, were not felt equally. And as researchers continue to sift through the pandemic data, it’s clear that California’s most vulnerable residents endured some of the most difficult moments — and continue to suffer.

'It’s a very clear, direct line,' said Imelda Padilla-Frausto, a research scientist at the UCLA FSPH Center for Health Policy Research. 'We were actually seeing, in real time, people losing their jobs or their incomes or having their lives disrupted in other significant ways, and seeing how all of that contributed to their stressors and resulting poor mental health.'

A new report from CHPR, coupled with one it produced last November, brings that picture into close focus. Mining responses from the statewide 2020 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), researchers found that adults who experienced increased interpersonal conflict at home during the pandemic — over financial shortfalls, child care issues, kids in lockdown — had a higher likelihood of poor mental health or “severe impairment,” meaning stress so bad it interfered with their ability to work or go to school, do household chores, socialize, etc."

Read the full Capital & Main article here.

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Imelda Padilla-Frausto
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