Mental health contrasts: comparing NC, SD, MI

August 4, 2020

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected needs for mental health services? We examined 13,219 requests to 2-1-1 for mental health services, mental health facilities, and other mental health needs between January 1 and July 27, 2020, in North Carolina, South Dakota, and Michigan. Each state showed a very different pattern of requests. In North Carolina, mental health needs tripled in late March as the state saw its first coronavirus cases and deaths, and spiked again in May and June, perhaps corresponding to reports in the news media about cluster infections. In South Dakota, mental health requests began rising in the first weeks of the pandemic, and have remained relatively stable at the new higher rate for four consecutive months. In Michigan, requests to 2-1-1 for mental health services actually declined during the first month of the pandemic, and have climbed steadily since then, peaking on July 21, during an increase in positive cases in the state. The light blue bars in each graph show the number of mental health requests received on that day and the dark blue line shows the 7-day moving average of requests. Hover over each line to see the moving average and the bars to see calls received on a particular date.

Contributors: Anita Udaiyar, Rachel Garg, Balaji Golla, Matthew Kreuter, Joe Steensma