Health panel calls for anxiety screenings for all adults under 65

A panel of medical experts is saying all American adults under the age of 65 should get regular screenings for anxiety, just like high blood pressure and heart disease.

After two years of pandemic isolation, experts say anxiety is widespread

The U.S. government's Preventive Services Task Force is made up of medical experts who are an independent, volunteer panel that advises on health issues. They hope to help primary care clinicians detect early signs of anxiety by using questionnaires and other tools.

"We do believe that there are going to be and there have been increases in anxiety," said Peter Economou, a psychologist and a Professor at Rutgers University. "People are having to re-learn how to socialize, how to cope as we've been able to do this virtual world that we're living in."

Economou told FOX 5 that any health care professional can screen for anxiety during a regular check-up.

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"It's a really good thing that we're doing because we know that mental health impacts physical health and so as a result of that, they become costly disorders," he said.

Now that this Federal task force is recommending screening for anxiety it may mean more and more people might seek help from a psychologist or psychiatrist. Trouble is if you've tried to book an appointment recently you know many mental health professionals are booked up and burnt out.

"Mental health care professionals are burnt out. They were burnt out pre-Covid. And so I think wellness is an initiative and perhaps this is one step towards it. So we're seeing some of the Fortune 500 silicon valley companies that make wellness integral to their existence. I'm hoping that we can do the same thing for our health care system and our health care providers," Economou said.

If you are having trouble getting in to see a therapist, Economou said that may want to try a large hospital or university with a training system. Keep in mind finding the right therapist may take a few tries.