Mental illness increasing in Floridians ahead of holidays

By The Numbers

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – With the holidays among us, the weight of being separated from family and friends as a coronavirus precaution is taking a toll.

Symptoms of depression and anxiety have been skyrocketing nationally, with metropolitan residents hit harder than more rural or suburban communities.

A survey taken between Oct. 28 and Nov. 9 by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that more than one in four Americans reported feeling anxious more than half of the previous seven days. Nearly one in five reported having felt depressed.

Nearly 30% of Floridians reported feeling anxious at least half of the time — more than the national average of 27.5%.

The Crisis Center of Tampa Bay this fall reported a 17% increase in the number of suicides between June and August compared to the same time frame last year.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Florida ranks No. 40 among states for mental-health programs, spending just $37.28 per person in 2019. That includes the 660,000 adults and 181,000 children in the state who live with serious mental illnesses like bipolar disorder, severe depression or schizophrenia. Mississippi spent four times as much on mental health treatment.

If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, you can dial 211 to reach the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay’s 24/7 hotline.

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