24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
Fax: (361)578-5500
Regular Hours: M-Fri 8am - 5pm
Every 3rd Thurs of the Month - Extended Hours Until 7 pm

Mental Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
Many U.S. Mass Shooters Had Untreated Mental Illness: StudyTelehealth Is Growing in Use, Acceptance Among Americans: PollWorry, Depression Can Plague Folks Who Get Implanted DefibrillatorsHigh-Profile Police Brutality Cases Harm Black Americans' Mental Health: StudyAmericans Still Avoiding ERs in Pandemic, But Uptick Seen in Mental Health CrisesCould ADHD Raise Odds for More Serious Psychiatric Ills?Mental Health 'Epidemic' Threatens Communities of Color Amid COVID-19Mental Illness Not a Factor in Most Mass ShootingsHistory of Mental Illness Tied to Earlier Onset of Alzheimer's DiseaseMental Health Trauma Plagues Wildfire Survivors1 in 3 Young Americans Prescribed a Psychiatric Drug Misuses Them: StudySurvey Shows Mental Woes Spiked in U.S. Pandemic's First MonthsPandemic Taking Big Mental Health Toll on Health Care WorkersRap Music Is Putting Mental Health in the SpotlightTake Care of Your Mental Health During PandemicTwo Key Lifestyle Factors May Ward Off Depression'Diseases of Despair' Skyrocket in America'Green Prescriptions' May Backfire for SomeFor Rural Youth, Mental Health Care Can Be Tough to FindWhat's Best for Treating Bipolar Disorder?Mental Health Issues Double the Odds of Dying With COVID-19, Study FindsHow You Can Help Prevent Suicide During the COVID-19 PandemicSevere Mental Illnesses Often Overlooked at Hospital Admission: StudyLevels of Anxiety, Addiction, Suicidal Thoughts Are Soaring in the PandemicMental Health Woes Spiraled Among College Students Early in PandemicU.S. Soldier in Custody Following Slaying of 5 Americans in Iraq
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Anxiety Disorders
Bipolar Disorder
Depression: Depression & Related Conditions
Schizophrenia
Eating Disorders

Americans Still Avoiding ERs in Pandemic, But Uptick Seen in Mental Health Crises

HealthDay News
by By Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Apr 16th 2021

new article illustration

FRIDAY, April 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- While ER visits have stayed below normal levels as the coronavirus pandemic continues, the number of people showing up in the emergency department with mental woes is increasing, new federal government data shows.

Between March 29 and April 25, 2020, visits to emergency departments dropped 42%, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found. Although the number of emergency department visits increased by July 2020, it remains below pre-pandemic levels: Between December 2020 and January 2021, visits were still 25% lower than during the same months the year before.

One expert cautioned that not going to the ER could be a deadly decision.

Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency medicine physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said, "It's vital that the public seek care in the emergency department for serious medical complaints including chest pain, difficulty breathing, dizziness, and falls or injuries."

As for mental health emergencies, many of the patients were children, the researchers noted. Feelings of anxiety and depression may be side effects of hunkering-down during the pandemic, said Glatter, who was not involved in the research.

"With an uptick in ER visits related to mental health complaints noted in the study, it's vital that all families continue to monitor family members for signs of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts," he stressed.

While the increased use of telemedicine may be partly responsible for the decline in emergency visits, it's critical for patients to understand that when they feel they need to visit the emergency department, they should not delay or second-guess themselves, because "doing so could prove to be deadly or result in long-term complications," Glatter said.

Dr. Teresa Murray Amato is chair of emergency medicine at Long Island Jewish, in Forest Hills, N.Y. She said, "There is much speculation about these trends, and the forces driving these trends are most likely multifactorial."

Patients had fears about the virus and being in a hospital, and there are more options for doing doctor visits virtually through telemedicine, she said.

It's also not surprising that children and others have increased anxiety and depression, said Amato, who had no role in the study.

"Isolation from family and friends can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression. As the pandemic has been ongoing for over one year, it is not surprising that young people are having trouble adjusting to the new normal of being physically distant for social interaction," Amato said.

It's up to emergency medicine doctors to keep abreast of how the pandemic is affecting patients, she added.

"Emergency physicians will need to be keenly aware of these trends and continuously look for innovative ways to help educate, support and treat patients in the emergency department during this pandemic," Amato said.

The report, by Jennifer Adjemian of the CDC COVID-19 Response Team and colleagues, was published April 16 in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

More information

For more on COVID-19 and stress, head to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Robert Glatter, MD, emergency medicine physician, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Teresa Murray Amato, MD, chair, emergency medicine, Long Island Jewish, Forest Hills, N.Y.; Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, April 16, 2021