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‘A Collective Trauma': New Report Details the Effects of Stress in America in 2020

Stress has led to potentially harmful behavior changes that could thrust the U.S. into a whole new health crisis

A healthcare worker wears a N95 respirator with two straps that fit around the head.
Bryan R. Smith/AFP/Getty Images

A new report from the American Psychological Association shows just how stressful life in America was in 2020.

The APA's "Stress in America" report, published Thursday, provides a stunning example of how mental health directly impacts physical health, NBC News reports. It comes exactly one year after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic.

"We've gone through a collective trauma," said Arthur C. Evans, chief executive officer and executive vice president of the APA.

The resulting stress, the report found, is showing up in drastic weight changes and increased alcohol use.

A trauma psychologist who is a mother herself realized early in the pandemic that parents needed more resources and support to cope with the “relentless” demands that were being placed on them. So Amanda Zelechoski and her fellow psychologist Lindsay Malloy started Pandemic Parenting, a website where parents can find science-based information about parenting during the COVID-19 outbreak. Zelechoski joined LX News to talk about the site and offer advice for struggling parents.

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