In the United States, a resounding majority of individuals believe that there is a mental health crisis.
A mental health crisis is present in the US today, according to nine out of ten Americans. Americans ranked the opioid epidemic towards the top of a list of six particular mental health issues when asked to rate their severity, with more than two-thirds of respondents classifying it as a crisis rather than just a problem. As well as a serious mental illness in adults, more than half of respondents cited mental health problems among children and teens as a crisis.
2,000 individuals from throughout the country were polled over the summer to get a nationally representative sample’s opinions on the summer’s public health issues, which included racism and gun violence and were still prevalent two and a half years after the CoVid-19 outbreak.
Numerous social stressors—which we know can raise the likelihood of alcohol and drug addiction as well as mental illness—were made worse by the Covid-19 epidemic.
In 2021, drug overdose fatalities hit record highs, and after two years of reduction, suicide rates returned to being close to all-time highs. And among teenagers aged 12 to 17, the number of ER visits linked to mental health increased by 31% in 2020.
A major mental health crisis involving family members who posed harm to themselves or others, or family members, is something that about half of the individuals report having experienced.
Including disproportionately high proportions of individuals under the age of 30, those who identify as LGBT, and people with yearly incomes of less than $40,000, more than one in five respondents describe their own mental health as just “fair” or “bad.” Over the course of the past year, a third of all individuals, including more than half of LGBT adults and those under 30, reported feeling nervous always or frequently. Over the last year, around 1 in 5 persons reported that they felt either frequently or always depressed or lonely.
Personal finances and current and political events are major sources of stress for one-third or more of individuals. Personal connections and employment, respectively, were cited as important sources of stress by about 1 in 4 persons.
Every fifth adult had mental health treatment in the previous year. Over the course of the pandemic, receiving mental health therapy increased in popularity: in 2021, almost 22% of adults received it, up from around 19% in 2019.
The increased readiness of our society to recognize and discuss times when we may be struggling or in need of help is maybe the single positive outcome of the epidemic and the changes that the country has seen.