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10 13, 2021

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This brief, Trauma and COVID-19: Communities in Need Across the U.S., is the third in our series and explores the MHA Screening data from individuals seeking support for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and individuals seeking mental health supports who self-identify as trauma survivors in the U.S. during COVID-19.

While the risk of contracting COVID-19 is a traumatizing event, it was coupled with traumatic changes to people’s social environments as well, including financial hardship, housing and food insecurity, death of loved ones, dramatic changes to work and schooling environments, and increased stress in the household which may have led to increases in interpersonal violence. During this time, the U.S. also experienced increasingly visible race-based violence, including the killing of Black and Asian community members. Each of these experiences can cause an acute stress response that may lead to future mental health problems if not addressed early, and for many individuals in the U.S. these experiences compounded on one another.

This report uses the data from MHA Screening to identify states and counties in the U.S. with the greatest need for resources for a timely and effective response to trauma during COVID-19. This report also includes recommendations for federal, state, and local strategies to better support individuals who have experienced trauma, using the MHA Screening data.