Beyond Perfect Storm

Beyond a Perfect Storm – How Racism, Covid-19, and Economic Meltdown Imperil Our Mental Health


Joel E. Miller, M.S. Ed.
Executive Director and CEO
American Mental Health Counselors Association

Angele Moss-Baker, LPC, LMFT, MAC, DCMHS-COD
President, 2020–2021
American Mental Health Counselors Association

Eric T. Beeson, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, ACS, CRC
President, 2019–2020
American Mental Health Counselors Association

Gray Otis, Ph.D., LCMHC, CCMHC, AMHCA Diplomate–Trauma
President, 2011–2012
American Mental Health Counselors Association

Napoleon Harrington, M.A., LPC, NCC
Founder and Therapist 
Ambassador Counseling & Resource Group (ACRG)

Beverly Smith, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, CCMHC, ACS, BC-TMH, CFT, MAC
President-Elect, 2020-2021
American Mental Health Counselors Association


In addition to threatening Americans’ physical health and economic stability, the coronavirus pandemic has caused high levels of emotional distress throughout the country. The levels are so high in fact that the report’s co-authors believe the country faces an imminent national mental health crisis—unless Congress, states, and local communities take action. Undeniably, U.S. society is in a collective state of traumatic distress.

According to the study, the impact of racism, the pandemic, and an economic downturn will worsen over the next few years, and the tsunami of mental health misery will include:

  • Wage earners who will not be rehired
  • Health-compromised individuals with a pre-existing condition
  • Social drinkers who are now consuming more and more alcohol
  • Parents who agonize about the future of their school-age children and disabled children
  • Uninsured Americans who will not receive help for chronic anxiety and depression

Based on the AMHCA report, nearly 41 percent of adults nationally are reporting that they are suffering from a mental health disorder -- or about 103 million adults in the U.S. The AMHCA study is based on surveys developed by the U.S. Census Bureau, Centers for Disease and Prevention, and the National Center for Health Statistics.

For more information, please see the link below to a key table through the Census Bureau Pulse Survey.



The American Mental Health Counselors Association (AMHCA) was established to support those who were engaged in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. This primary function of AMHCA has continued since 1976 without pause. While there are other associations that represent mental health professionals, since its inception, AMHCA has fully focused on the advancement of the profession of Clinical Mental Health Counseling. The mission and vision of AMHCA promote the advocacy of enhanced mental and emotional well-being for all through effective public policy and other initiatives that address integrated behavioral health. To learn more about AMHCA go to