The guidance will be finalised in the upcoming months following public feedback.
A US government-backed medical expert council has suggested that all Americans under the age of 65 undergo routine screening for anxiety disorders, shedding attention on the significance of mental health.
The US Preventive Services Task Force has made the suggestion and stated that all adults should be screened for current mental illnesses including depression. The panel’s recommendations are neither necessary nor compulsory, but they do have a significant impact on how US doctors practise medicine.
The report, according to panellist Lori Pbert, a professor at the University of Massachusetts, could not have come out at a more crucial moment. It is important to remember that the panel’s conclusions date from the time before the pandemic.
Globally, the prevalence of mental health disorders has skyrocketed since the pandemic. However, the study referenced a data stating that between August 20 and February 2021, the percentage of adults exhibiting signs of anxiety or depression disorder grew to 41.4% from 36.4%. The group had earlier suggested anxiety testing for kids and teenagers between the ages of eight and 18.
In a report released earlier this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that cases of anxiety and depression have increased 25 per cent globally. In 2020, there was also a 27.6% rise in the number of major depressive disorder patients.
Although it is commendable that screening should be encouraged, there is a severe shortage of workers who can emphasise the importance of mental health and wellbeing. According to experts, significant change won’t occur unless the number of mental health specialists is raised.