The panel recommended that adults under the age of 65 in the US get routinely screened for anxiety disorders.
Shedding light on the importance of mental health, a US-government-backed medical expert panel has recommended that adults under the age of 65 in the US get routinely screened for anxiety disorders.
The recommendation has been given by an influential advisory group called US Preventive Services Task Force which has added that all adults should be checked for prevailing mental ailments such as depression. Reportedly, the guidance, currently in draft form will be finalised in the coming months after receiving comments from the public.
Lori Pbert, a member of the panel and professor at the University of Massachusetts stated that the study could not have come at a more critical time.
“When you go to your primary care provider, you get screened for many, many preventive conditions, blood pressure, heart rate, all kinds of things. 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 is pertinent to note that the findings of the panel are from the pre-pandemic period. After the pandemic, mental health ailments have increased staggeringly across the planet.
However, the study cited a report saying that the percentage of adults having symptoms of anxiety or depressive order had increased to 41.4 per cent from 36.4 per cent between August 20 to February 2021.
“Covid has taken a tremendous toll on the mental health of Americans. This is a topic prioritised for its public health importance, but clearly, there’s an increased focus on mental health in this country over the past few years,” added Pbert.
Earlier, the panel had recommended anxiety screening for children and teenagers aged between eight and 18.
While the recommendations of the panel are not binding or mandatory, the influence it wields can certainly change the way doctors practice medicine in the US.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) in a report earlier this year said that cases of anxiety and depression have surged by over 25 per cent globally. Moreover, there was a 27.6 per cent increase in cases of major depressive disorder in the year 2020. (WION)