CVS: Mental health concerns are rising

Mental Health concerns are rising across all adult Americans, according to a recent CVS Health/Morning Consult survey. 

Nearly 6 in 10 Americans (59%) have experienced concerns about either their own mental health or that of family and friends, the survey found. That’s a 9% increase from April 2020. 

CVS Health released the report with Morning Consult during Mental Health Awareness month after conducting a poll between April 6 - 9, 2022 among a national sample of 2,209 adults. The report is the fifth survey by CVS Health since April 2020 to track the mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In addition to heightened mental health concerns, respondents agreed the pandemic has made them more comfortable seeking support for mental health and using technology to address it. Fifty-three percent said hearing about other people's challenges makes them more comfortable seeking out resources and care for themselves. Most (56%) also agreed society has become more comfortable engaging in mental health discussions. Another 58% said comfortability around digital tools for mental health help has improved, while 63% said the same for teletherapy.

The findings all underscore pandemic healthcare trends. When healthcare providers temporarily halted routine and elective procedures during the pandemic, telehealth gained more popularity and interest. 

"Despite the longstanding stigma and other challenges in mental health, there is a clear shift taking place through the power of technology," CVS Health President and CEO Karen S. Lynch said in a statement. "CVS Health provided 10 million virtual mental health visits last year, compared to 20,000 prior to the pandemic, which is enabling us to meet the growing demand brought on by COVID-19. We are firmly committed to developing new programs and resources that help make mental health care more routine, convenient and accessible for all communities."

Report Highlights

While concerns rose across individuals of all backgrounds, Black, age 65+, young adult and LGBTQIA+ respondents had the highest increases. In particular, 74% of respondents aged 18-34 experienced mental health concerns for themselves, family or friends––up 12% from two years ago. 

Black Americans reported an 11% increase in mental health concerns since the start of the pandemic, and 4 in 10 respondents age 65+ experienced mental health concerns for themselves, family or friends––up10% compared to two years ago. In addition, 57% of respondents who identify as LGBTQIA+ expressed concerns about their own mental health–20 percentage points higher compared to other respondents.

As mental health concerns rise, 74% of employed adults agree that employers should offer their employees resources and access to mental health service. Just over one-third of respondents said they feel comfortable discussing mental health with a colleague.

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