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Mental health advocates are warning that government and health authorities are doing little to help people suffering from lockdown-related conditions.
A new report published by mental health advocacy organization Well Being Trust is sounding the alarm that more than 75,000 people may die from "unprecedented economic failure paired with massive unemployment, mandated social isolation for months and possible residual isolation for years, and uncertainty caused by the sudden emergence of a novel, previously unknown microbe."
The organization is using data gathered during the 2008 economic crash known as the Great Recession, showing a correlation between that downturn and an increase of suicide and drug overdose deaths.
But with the Wuhan virus-related economic meltdown, the U.S. unemployment rate jumped to 14.7% in April with nearly 20 million unemployed in one month, with the number expected to increase as both large and small companies shutter their doors.
The unemployment rate and shrinking economy surpass those of even the Great Depression — another period of increased suicides.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' own calculations are even higher, estimating at least 150,000 dying for the same reasons, despite the fact that about 80,000 have died in the United States from the virus.
Catholic Church authorities are also doing little to address the growing depression among the faithful. Most dioceses have suspended public Masses for the last six weeks and some bishops have forbidden priests to minister to them in any way, despite safety measures being taken.
It remains to be seen how many people will return to church when doors begin to open in the next few weeks.