90% of Americans agree, country experiencing mental health crisis, survey says

Nine out of 10 adults believe there is a mental health crisis in the U.S. today, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation/CNN Mental Health In America Survey, as reported Oct. 5 by CNN.

When asked to rate the severity of six mental health concerns, respondents placed the opioid epidemic near the top, with more than two-thirds identifying it specifically as a crisis rather than a problem. More than half of people identified mental health issues among children and teenagers as a crisis, as well as a severe mental illness in adults, according to the report. 

About 50 percent of survey respondents indicate they have had a severe mental health crisis in their family, including in-person treatment for family members who were a threat to themselves or others or those who engaged in self-harming behaviors. 

Data from the report indicates that 1 in 5  adults has received mental health services in the past year, and nearly 6 out of 10 adults say their mental health is fair or poor and say they have not been able to get needed care. 

Eighty-five percent say they would be at least somewhat likely to call the hotline if they or a loved one were experiencing a mental health crisis. Fifty-five percent say there aren’t enough mental health care providers. Three-quarters say that insurers not covering mental health the same way they cover physical health is a significant concern. Eighty percent are concerned about the cost of mental healthcare. 

The survey sampled about 2,000 adults and was conducted on July 28 through Aug. 9, 2022, more than two years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"The Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated numerous social stressors that we know can increase the risk of both substance use and mental illness," Nora Volkow, MD, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse told CNN

According to the most recent data from the CDC, drug overdose deaths reached record levels in 2021, while suicide rates were near a record high after a two-year decline. Furthermore, in 2020 mental health-related emergency room visits jumped 31 percent among adolescents aged 12 to 17.


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