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Factors Associated with County-Level Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic (309998)Elena Badillo-Goicoechea, The Johns Hopkins University
Ting-Hsuan Chang, The Johns Hopkins University
*Carly Patricia Lupton-Smith, The Johns Hopkins University
Elizabeth Stuart, The Johns Hopkins University
Keywords: coronavirus, mental health, nationwide survey, large sample, mixed effects models
Throughout the duration of the SARS CoV-2 pandemic, mental health symptoms of anxiety, depression, and isolation have been of key interest but have yet to be investigated in detail at a local level. Data from a national Facebook-based survey (N=7,964,498) along with county-level Census data were combined to investigate local factors that are associated with weekly county-level mental health scores. Multiple linear mixed-effects regression models weighted by county sample size and time series models were fit. Results indicate that higher weekly county-level mental health symptoms were associated with a higher percentage of female and aged 18-34 respondents, more weekly COVID-19 cases, a larger county population, and higher unemployment rate, among other factors. Symptoms of anxiety, depression, and isolation were highest overall across the winter months of December and January. These results provide a localized view of county-level mental health symptoms across the duration of the pandemic and help highlight which counties might be experiencing larger mental health challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.