The mental state of Americans amid the COVID-19 crisis: How socially vulnerable populations face greater disparities during and after a crisis


  • Elisabeth Dubois, MBA
  • Xiaojun (Jenny) Yuan, PhD



COVID-19, mental health, public health, socially vulnerable populations


The coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) public health crisis has accentuated divides and caused millions of Americans to suffer from increased mental health challenges. Although these challenges are seen throughout the country, socially vulnerable populations including frontline workers, older adults, and children, among others, face increased risk of mental health issues. There has been a notable mental health crisis in the country due to the isolation, stay-at-home orders, and preventive measures put in place to curb the spread. This study investigates the mental health challenges that socially vulnerable populations often face during crises and presents the factors affecting these populations during (and following) the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on an analysis of these factors, several recommendations are made to aid emergency managers, public health officials, policymakers, and academics in better addressing mental health challenges as we continue to battle COVID-19 and in preparation for future public health crises.

Author Biographies

Elisabeth Dubois, MBA

College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, New York

Xiaojun (Jenny) Yuan, PhD

College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, New York


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How to Cite

Dubois, MBA, E., and X. (Jenny) Yuan, PhD. “The Mental State of Americans Amid the COVID-19 Crisis: How Socially Vulnerable Populations Face Greater Disparities During and After a Crisis”. Journal of Emergency Management, vol. 19, no. 9, July 2021, pp. 69-80, doi:10.5055/jem.0605.