Denver protest

Mariah Wood, an organizer with United Here, chants "don't starve, fight" while leading the group of protesters to Sen. Cory Gardner's downtown office." 

The pandemic and this year of economic and civil unrest are magnifying mental health concerns, according to a Colorado Health Foundation poll released Wednesday.

The troubles of 2020 have been especially hard on low-income and minority communities, the survey by Republican and Democratic pollsters of 2,275 Coloradans suggests.

The sweeping survey found that 2 out of 5 Black Coloradans have felt afraid of law enforcement in the last year, and 1 in 5 state residents is worried about feeding their family. Roughly the same number are afraid of losing their home in the economic downturn.

Coloradans indicated support for mask-wearing, free COVID-19 testing, free medical treatment for the virus and, eventually, free vaccines.

While only 53% of those who identified as Republicans supported a mask mandate, 96% of Democrats and 71% of unaffiliated voters were in favor of masks in public.

More than 25% of those surveyed worried about losing health coverage.

While 44% had a greater concern for keeping students home from school, 46% were concerned about the health threats to the student body, faculty and other staff.

“Each question in the poll digs into the essentials we need in life to be healthy – from affordable housing to mental wellness to economic and food security. We want to know what’s keeping people up at night, what’s dominating their conversations, and what they think would make the state a better place for their neighbors, friends and family,” Karen McNeil-Miller, president and CEO of the Colorado Health Foundation said in a statement.

She hoped the survey would lead to better-informed policy decisions to ensure health care access and equity.

You can read the full survey by clicking here

"Every Coloradan has been affected in some way, but Coloradans with the lowest income are bearing the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing economic disruptions," stated Republican pollster Lori Weigel of the firm New Bridge Strategy. "They’re not just more likely to report having had their wages or hours cut or to have been laid off, but they’re also more likely to have experienced difficulty in handling childcare. No wonder they are the most apt to report increased mental health strain.”

The Democratic-led firm FM3 Research also participated in the survey conducted Aug. 5-24 conducted by postcard, phone call, text message and email, with an over-sampling of Black and Asian Americans in the state.

The findings have a margin of error or plus of minus 2.83% with a 95% confidence level.

Note: This article has been updated to correct the percentage of Republicans in favor of a mask mandate.

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