For the first time ever, a US government-backed expert panel is recommending that adults under the age of 65 be screened for anxiety disorders and depression.
The recommendation comes from the US Preventive Services Task Force, amid the increased mental health toll the Covid-19 pandemic has had on people. While they did not outright recommend adults also be screened for suicide, they did acknowledge that it is one of the leading causes of death in American adults.
The panel has already made a similar recommendation for those between the ages of eight and eighteen but the new guidance highlights an increased focus on mental health.
Dr. Lori Pbert, one of the task force members said, “Mental health conditions are just important as other physical conditions, and we really need to be treating mental health conditions with the same urgency that we do other conditions.”
It’s estimated that the pandemic added an additional 53.2 million cases of major depressive disorder and 76.2 million cases of anxiety disorders around the world.