COVID-19 Patients Have Higher Risk for Mental Illness, Study Finds

Researchers at Oxford University looked at more than 62,000 cases of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 between the end of January and August 1.

Posted: Dec 3, 2020 11:52 PM
Updated: Dec 4, 2020 9:00 AM

A new Oxford study found that within the first 90 days after a person tests positive for COVID-19, they have a higher risk of developing a mental illness.

Oxford University researchers looked at electronic medical records of 69 million Americans, including more than 62,000 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed between January 20 and August 1.

They found that one in five COVID-19 survivors were diagnosed with either anxiety, depression or insomnia. One in four of those patients had no history of pre-existing mental illness before the virus.

One mental health counselor at Deaconess Cross Pointe in Evansville said the pandemic is taking a toll and that anxiety and depression is becoming a growing problem for many of her patients.

"Just the emotional isolation in all of this too," Remy Montejano said. "I just heard from a a lot of people like everyday 'We don't know what we're going to wake up to," it's extremely exhausting because we're hearing so many different things everyday."

Montejano said some of her patients who recover from the virus still live in fear and even those who have never tested positive are feeling the mental strain of the pandemic.

"It makes it more justifiable to isolate right now and that feeling of anxiety of they don't know what's going to happen and I think that depression is huge," she said.

Montejano said it's been a difficult time for everyone and it's important to find ways to look forward.

"Not being so hard on yourself for one, I think that's helpful," she said." "The acceptance of it, accepting that this is a hard time, 'OK, I'm going to have to set some limits as far as things that I can do' and that's OK."

Deaconess Health has several resources available to those who might be suffering from any mental illnesses after recovering from COVID-19. Below is some information from one of their recent flyers:


Deaconess Cross Pointe
7200 E. Indiana Street, Evansville
812-476-7200 • 800-947-6789

Deaconess Cross Pointe Outpatient
445 Cross Pointe Blvd., Suite 320, Evansville

Deaconess Clinic Behavioral Health
Deaconess Clinic Downtown


Mental Health America: 812-426-2640
(can provide referrals to area providers)

Catholic Charities: 812-423-5456

Lampion Center: 812-471-1776

United Family Counseling: 812-424-5680

Evansville Lutheran Family Counseling: 812-424-5620


State Resource Helpline: Call 2-1-1, enter ZIP, press 3
Deaconess Cross Pointe CARE Team: 812-476-7200
Southwestern Behavioral Healthcare: 812-423-7791
Suicide Prevention National Hotline: 800-273-8255
Local Suicide Hotline: 812-422-1100
Alcoholics Anonymous: 812-434-4952
Narcotics Anonymous: 877-642-5831


Suicide Textline: Text HOME to 741741


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