MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - A Blue Cross Blue Shield report shows the coronavirus is making matters worse when it comes to the mental health of millennials.
The report found 92% of millennials say the coronavirus has had a negative impact on their mental health. It also shows millennials’ health was already on the decline before the pandemic.
According to the data, the pandemic is likely accelerating the rise of behavioral health conditions among millennials. An example of this is major depression.
The data shows certain lifestyle changes have increased since the beginning of the virus. Blue Cross Blue Shield said these habits can lead to the development of behavioral health conditions or worsen existing ones.
Since the coronavirus pandemic started, there’s been a 34% increase in alcohol consumption, 20% increase in smoking, 17% increase in vaping and a 16% increase in non-medical drug use, the report shows.
In addition, social isolation could put those with opioid use disorders at risk of overdose or even relapse.
In 2019, Blue Cross Blue Shield released a report detailing how declining millennial health could set back this generation’s future growth. But now they say the economic impact of the coronavirus could make it worse.
The most recent study shows almost 10% of millennials reported losing their job due to the pandemic, 25% have seen a reduction in their work hours, and 23% have had to use their savings to pay for their day-to-day needs.
According to the data, millennials make up the largest part of the United States population and labor force.
It also shows nearly a third of millennials have a behavioral health condition, and it’s rising by double digits.
Some of the increases include a 12% increase in major depression, 7% increase in alcohol use disorder and a 5% increase in tobacco and substance use disorder.
Blue Cross Blue Shield is hosting a virtual meeting Oct. 28 with healthcare experts, millennials and even employers to explore the issues and identify solutions to improve the mental health of millennials.
For additional details on the meeting, click here.