An annual report into death by several factors tied to mental health and wellbeing — otherwise referred to as “deaths of despair” — topped 150,000 in 2018. The report, authored by the Trust for America’s Health and the Well Being Trust and based on 2018 data, shows that while opioid deaths declined slightly, those induced by alcohol, suicide, synthetic opioids and psychostimulants continued to rise.

These trends, however, could be exacerbated by COVID-19’s impact on mental wellness, the groups warned. They recommend that public health organizations prioritize efforts to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on mental health, substance use, suicide and overall well-being by expanding existing wellness programs and developing new ones to reach those at risk.

AHA and its affiliate groups have a number of resources, provided by the following organizations, to help medical professionals, behavioral health providers and the general public maintain mental and emotional well-being during and after the COVID-19 pandemic:

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