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CDC: One in Four U.S. Adults Received Mental Health Care in 2021

September 21, 2022Nearly one in four U.S. adults aged 18-44 has received mental health treatment in the past 12 months, a significant increase over previous years.

In 2019, 19% of the same demographic received mental health care; that percentage rose to 23% in 2021, according to the 2019–2021 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).1The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published the survey.In comparison, a recent ADDitude survey found that nearly three-quarters (72%) of readers aged 18-44 received mental health treatment within the last two to three years.

Of those respondents, more than one-third (36%) sought or received mental health care for the first time during the pandemic and 73% said they are currently receiving mental health treatment.The NHIS survey defined “receiving mental healthcare” as getting counseling or therapy or taking prescription medication for anxiety, depression, concentration, behavior, or other emotions in the past 12 months. The ADDitude survey did not explicitly define mental health care and asked respondents to report on their experiences over the last two or three years.The NHIS survey found that women aged 18-44 were more likely than men to have received any mental health treatment.

In 2021, the survey found that more than one in four women (29%) received mental health care compared with less than one in five men (18%). Likewise, 73.19% of female ADDitude survey respondents said they are currently receiving mental health care, compared to 65.79% of male respondents.Young white American adults received the most mental health care in 2021 (30%), according to the CDC.

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