Skip to main content
U-M Poverty Solutions Logo U-M Poverty Solutions Logo


Back to news

Survey shows how Detroiters’ mental health has changed since pandemic

mural on the side of a brick building with fire escapes that reads, "How Are You Really?"

Contact: Lauren Slagter,; Jared Wadley,

DETROIT—Detroiters’ mental health-related symptoms have improved and largely stabilized since the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a University of Michigan report.

While the negative impacts of the pandemic on people’s mental health are well documented, less is known about the persistence of mental health problems after the lockdowns ended and the economy reopened.

U-M’s Detroit Metro Area Communities Study, with support from Poverty Solutions, surveyed Detroiters about their mental health from April 2020 through December 2023. Results from the representative survey are weighted to reflect Detroit’s population.

New analysis of the survey data shows that while substantial percentages of Detroiters still report experiencing symptoms of depression, anxiety or general worry, the numbers have largely stabilized in the post-pandemic period.

“Understanding how mental health changed during a time of crisis and since stabilized can help mental health practitioners better meet the needs of their communities,” said Lauren Chojnacki, research associate at DMACS, who authored the report, “The Mental Health of Detroiters Has Improved Since the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Early in the pandemic, in April 2020, a majority of Detroiters (62%) reported experiencing anxiety, 47% reported feeling depressed and 46% reported feeling “general worry.”

By June 2020, 44% of Detroiters said they felt anxiety, and the percentage has remained relatively stable since then. Rates of depression dropped to 35% by August 2023 before spiking to 41% in December 2023. Feelings of general worry declined to 37% of Detroiters in June 2020, and the rate has remained relatively stable since then.

The drop in depression, anxiety and worry since the peak of the pandemic applied to Black, white, and Latino Detroiters. Women generally were more likely than men to report experiencing poor mental health one or more days a week.

Detroiters with low incomes (annual household income under $10,000) consistently report higher rates of anxiety, depression and general worry than residents with annual household incomes of $100,000 or higher.

Residents under age 30 generally have higher rates of depression, anxiety and worry than Detroiters over 65, and this persisted from the peak of the pandemic in April 2020 through December 2023.

Report: The Mental Health of Detroiters Has Improved Since the COVID-19 Pandemic