Mental Health and Substance-Use Disorders: Impact of COVID-19
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a great stressor to the mental health of the general public, with more than one in four people, including those with no prior mental health condition, experiencing psychological distress. This has been accompanied by an increase in the prevalence of worse mental health outcomes, increased substance-use disorders (SUD), including opioid-use disorders (OUD), and increased prevalence of suicidal ideation (SI). These increases have been noted to be disproportionately worse among younger adults and racial/ethnic minorities, among others. About 10 percent more people have started, or increased, substance use since the onset of the pandemic, and two times the number of people have experienced SI than had in pre-pandemic years.
This activity will provide education surrounding current trends in mental health issues and increases in SUD, OUD, and SI that have been associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. It will discuss possible etiologies for these changes and will highlight areas of focus for health care providers (HCPs) that can induce potential changes in approaches to patient care that can effectively promote improved evaluation, treatment, recovery, and health moving forward.
This activity is jointly provided by OptumHealth Education and Optum Behavioral Health.
There was no commercial support received for this activity.
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This activity is designed to meet the educational needs of physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, counselors and therapists who are interested in learning about pertinent topics in behavioral health, including current trends, concerns, data, and influencing factors surrounding mental health outcomes.
At the end of this educational activity, participants should be able to:
- Discuss trends in mental health (MH), SI, and SUD during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Define the factors contributing to COVID-19–related changes in mental health and substance use.
- Describe the populations that are more likely to be impacted by COVID-19-related changes.
- Identify potential areas for change that can promote improved recovery and long-term outcomes.
Yusra Benhalim, MD
Senior National Medical Director
Optum Behavioral Health
Debra M. Katz, MD
Senior National Medical Director
Optum Behavioral Health
Elizabeth V. Albert, MD
Clinical Activity Manager
LaRhonda Jones, MD
ECS-Senior Behavioral Medical Director – Central Region
Disclosures of relevant financial relationships
In accordance with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education's (ACCME) Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education, OptumHealth Education (OHE) requires all those in control of educational content to disclose their financial relationships with ineligible companies within the prior 24 months. Ineligible companies are defined by the ACCME as companies whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing health care products used by or on patients. Individuals must disclose all financial relationships, regardless of the amount, with ineligible companies and regardless of their view of the relevance of the relationship to the education. OHE ensures that the content is independent of commercial bias.
The activity faculty or planners have no financial relationships to disclose.
Method for calculating CE credit
CE credit was calculated by the complexity of content.
In support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by OptumHealth Education and Optum Behavioral Health. OptumHealth Education is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the health care team.
Credit designation statements
The participant will be awarded up to 1.00 contact hour(s) of credit for attendance and completion of supplemental materials.
The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME and ANCC.
OptumHealth Education designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME.
OptumHealth Education is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to offer continuing education for psychologists. OptumHealth Education maintains responsibility for this program 1.00 CE hour.
As a Jointly Accredited Organization, OptumHealth Education is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved under this program. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. OptumHealth Education maintains responsibility for this course. Social workers completing this course receive 1.00 enduring continuing education credits.
Counselors and/or marriage and family therapists
CA: The Board of Behavioral Sciences has deferred CE course approvals to APA and ASWB for its licensees. See those approvals under Psychologists and Social Workers.
Other States: If your state is not specifically listed, nearly all state Counselor and MFT boards accept either APA or ASWB approval, or are reciprocal with other state licensing board approvals, such as those listed below. Check with your board to be sure.
A certificate of attendance will be provided to learners upon completion of activity requirements, enabling participants to register with licensing boards or associations that have not been preapproved for credits. To apply for credit types not listed above, participants should use the procedure established by the specific organization from which they wish to obtain credit.
- 1.00 AMA - Physicians
- 1.00 ANCC - Nurses
- 1.00 APA - Psychologists
- 1.00 Attendance - General Attendance
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