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UofM study finds use of antidepressants surged during pandemic

Brina Tiemeyer
Wedgwood Christian Services
Brina Tiemeyer

Brina Tiemeyer of Wedgwood Christian Services is grateful for the study, saying that “the destigmatization of mental health treatment is a good thing for our adolescent population.”

“I think that what the pandemic did, it exasperated a pre-existing mental health crisis in this group. It didn’t initiate it. I think it exasperated it.”

According to the study, while a growing number of young people ages 12 to 25 were receiving antidepressants before the COVID-19 pandemic, the antidepressant dispensing rate rose nearly 64% faster after March 2020.

“Honestly, I am a little bit grateful from the study. I think that this proves that the destigmatization of mental health treatment is a good thing for our adolescent population.”

Brina Tiemeyer is the Director of Clinical services at Wedgwood Christian Services. She says that during the pandemic, youth were spending more time on social media, which led to an increase in cyber bullying. This led to more youth seeking treatment for mental health emergencies.

“It allowed for there to be national media attention surrounding psychiatric crises in children, and it led to an increase in access. The increase that we’re seeing is likely due to due to greater access to care.”

Tiemeyer says she’s encouraged by the findings and hopes it means both parents and youth are on the right track when it comes to treating their mental health issues.

“If the use of antidepressants lowers that death-by-suicide rate for our adolescents and young adults, then we as a state are on the right track.”

Dave joined WGVU Public Media in November of 2023 after eighteen years as a Michigan Association of Broadcasters Emmy-nominated photojournalist and editor at Grand Rapids' WOOD TV8 and three years at WEYI TV25 in Flint, Michigan. As a General Assignment Reporter, Dave covers daily news and community events all over West Michigan.
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