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Mental illness deemed as next pandemic in U.S.: report

A U.S. flag flies at half-mast atop the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, the United States, on May 12, 2022. (Photo by Michael Nagle/Xinhua)

In particular, the mentally ill homeless are piling up on the streets of San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Austin and on and on.

NEW YORK, May 20 (Xinhua) -- Emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States is overflowing with people suffering from a broad range of mental disturbance, and "mental illness is the U.S.'s next pandemic," reported The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

An emerging post-COVID-19 reality is that "a slowly building crisis of poorly treated mental illness, anxiety, depression and suicide is cresting just as the pandemic ends," said the report, noting that suicide, already the second leading cause of death among people 15 to 34 before the pandemic, has increased.

In October, the American Academy of Pediatrics and others warned of "soaring rates of mental health challenges" among the young, and a similar warning followed from the U.S. surgeon general.

In particular, the mentally ill homeless are piling up on the streets of San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Austin and on and on. New York City Mayor Eric Adams has been dismantling homeless tent camps, but "he's shoveling sand into the ocean. They have nowhere to go," said the report.

"With the society-wide surge of mental disorder during the pandemic, the U.S. has arrived at a moment of reckoning for a policy failure that has run like an open hydrant since the deinstitutionalization movement of the 1970s emptied the mental hospitals," it added. ■