ALTON - According to the latest federal data available, young adults in the United States continue to be more likely than their older counterparts to be experiencing symptoms of anxiety or depression.

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An analysis of the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey finds that half (50%) of adults ages 18-24 reported anxiety and depression symptoms in 2023, compared to about a third of adults overall. The data also show that young adults are more likely than adults of any other age group to experience mental health symptoms.

Since mental health continues to be a prominently identified community health priority in Madison County, OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center – Psychological Services (1 Saint Anthony’s Way, 3rd Floor, Alton, IL, 62002) will be offering FREE and confidential depression and anxiety screenings on the first Friday monthly beginning Friday, February 2.

A referral for screening is not required but a scheduled appointment is necessary. Limited slots will be available for each monthly assessment.

Depression and anxiety screening appointments can be scheduled by calling (618) 474-6240.

The complete depression and anxiety screening schedule (on the first Friday of every month) for 2024 is as follows:

  • February 2
  • March 1
  • April 5
  • May 3
  • June 7
  • August 2
  • September 6
  • October 4
  • November 1
  • December 6

“OSF Saint Anthony’s is committed to meeting and serving the mental health needs of the entire Riverbend region,” says Staci Knox, LCSW, Manager, Psychological Services, OSF Saint Anthony’s. “Mental health is one of two top community health priorities identified in our current community health needs assessment (CHNA). We’ve seen our patient volume in the Psychological Services Department increase by more than 37% from 2022 to 2023. Mental health and wellness will continue to be a community health priority in Madison County and across the United States indefinitely.”

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It's not uncommon for someone with an anxiety disorder to also suffer from depression or vice versa. Nearly one-half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. “Many young adults have come of age in an era of pandemic-related school closures, remote work and job and income loss, all of which may contribute to poor mental health,” Knox states. “Additionally, for example, young adults in college settings may encounter increased difficulty accessing treatment.”

But young adults are not alone in experiencing heightened mental health symptoms. The mental health and substance use concerns that were present during the COVID-19 crisis continue to affect many Americans, even as many people try to move beyond the pandemic, Census data show.

Poor mental health has also been more pronounced among adolescent females during the pandemic, with 57 percent reporting feelings of hopelessness and sadness compared to 29 percent of their male peers in 2021, the latest such data available. In the same period, 30 percent of adolescent females reported that they seriously considered attempting suicide, compared to 14 percent of adolescent males.

According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA):

  • Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting more than 40 million adults (19.1% of the population) age 18and older every year.
  • Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.
  • Anxiety disorders develop from a complex set of risk factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, personality, and life events.
  • People with anxiety disorder are 3-5 times more likely to go to the doctor and 6 times more likely to be hospitalized for psychiatric disorders than those who do not suffer from anxiety disorders.
  • 264 million people worldwide live with depression.
  • Depression is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. among people ages 15-44.
  • Around 39% of adults with major depressive episodes did not receive treatment.

More information on depression and anxiety can be obtained by visiting www.adaa.org.

OSF Saint Anthony’s CHNA report was completed in 2022 and identified, in part, that 47% of CHNA survey respondents indicated they felt depressed in the last 30 days and 39% indicated they felt anxious or stressed. Depression tends to be rated higher by younger people, women, and those with less income. Similarly, stress and anxiety tend to be rated higher for younger people, women and those with less income. Respondents were also asked if they spoke with anyone about their mental health in the past year. Of respondents, 34% indicated that they spoke to someone, the most common response was to a doctor/nurse (38%). In regard to self-assessment of overall mental health, 9% of respondents stated they have poor overall mental health. In the 2022 CHNA survey, respondents indicated that mental health was the most important health issue.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act), enacted March 23, 2010, added new requirements for tax-exempt charitable hospital organizations to conduct community health needs assessments and to adopt implementation strategies to meet the community health needs identified through the assessments. The hospital’s CHNA, which can be found by visiting takes into account input from specific individuals who represent the broad interests of the community served by OSF Saint Anthony’s including those with special knowledge of or expertise in public health.

OSF Saint Anthony’s CHNA report can be found by visiting https://www.osfhealthcare.org/about/community-health/.

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