“I would very much hope that we would not do this again. I don’t see the science to back that up,” she said of a shutdown. “We need to discuss the risks versus the benefits to taking any action, and I would say that we wouldn’t want to take the same approach again.”

Dr. McCance-Katz’s comments highlight the growing concern over the rising toll the shutdown is taking on the mental health of millions of Americans as well as the debate over how that should inform future response. Spikes in calls to crisis lines and predictions of tens of thousands of suicides and drug overdoses are raising alarms and have prompted lawmakers to call for more money for mental-health screening and response…

Dr. Craig Sawchuk, a psychologist and division chair of integrated behavioral health at the Mayo Clinic, said the pandemic’s impact on mental health was certain to lead to thousands of additional deaths but believes a second shutdown may yet be warranted.

“I respectfully disagree,” he said of Dr. McCance-Katz’s dismissal of a second shutdown. “The spread of the disease itself could do more harm and prolong this further.”