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CVS Health, Morning Consult survey shares increasing mental health concerns amongst individuals

The fifth such survey since April 2020 tracks the impact the pandemic has had on the mental health of individuals aged 18 years old and older, as well as the utilization of new technology and tools to meet the demands for support.

A survey conducted by CVS Health and Morning Consult found that Americans aged 18 years old and older are among those with rising mental health concerns. 

The increase is in individuals of all backgrounds, especially Black, aged 65 years old and older, young adults and LGBTQIA+ respondents. The survey also found that more Americans agree that the pandemic has made them more comfortable seeking support for mental health and using technology to address it.

[Read more: Breaking down barriers: retailer pharmacy is becoming a tour de force in an unexpected area, providing mental health services]

Other key findings include:

  • Six-in-10 (59%) Americans have experienced concerns about either their own mental health or that of family and friends, a 9%-point increase since April 2020;
  • More than half of Americans (53%) agree that hearing about other people's challenges makes them more comfortable seeking out resources and care for themselves;
  • Since the pandemic began, most people agree that society has become more comfortable engaging in mental health discussions (56%), using digital tools to improve mental health (58%) and using telemedicine for therapy (63%); and
  • The growing use of telemedicine and digital tools to treat mental health increases access to care, allows for greater convenience in connecting with a mental health provider and can be a welcome option for those who are apprehensive about receiving mental health care in person.

"Despite the long-standing 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 Lynch said. "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."

[Read more: Care and convenience: Supermarkets cement themselves as healthcare destinations]

  • The survey found the LGBTQIA+ community, young adults, Blacks and respondents age 65 years old and older had greater increases in mental health concerns;
  • Fifty-seven percent of respondents who identify as LGBTQIA+ expressed concerns about their own mental health, 20%-points higher compared to other respondents;
  • Seventy-four percent of respondents aged 18 to 34 years old experienced mental health concerns for themselves, family or friends, reflecting a 12%-point increase compared to two years ago;
  • Black Americans surveyed saw an 11%-point increase in mental health concerns since the start of the pandemic;
  • Four-in-10 respondents age 65 years old and older experienced mental health concerns for themselves, family or friends, reflecting a 10%-point increase compared to two years ago; and
  • The survey found that while 74% of employed adults agree that employers should offer their employees resources and access to mental health services, only 35% of employed adults feel comfortable discussing mental health with a colleague, indicating an opportunity for workplaces to further engage their employees.

"The impact of isolation, loss, grief and burnout will effect our mental health for years to come," said Cara McNulty, president, behavioral health and mental well-being at CVS Health. "As a result, we continue to expand services and resources to meet the long-term needs of communities, workforces — including our own — and loved ones to make gains on our goal to reduce suicide attempts 20% among our membership by the year 2025, which is an imperative."

[Read more: CVS Health’s MinuteClinic recognized for age-friendly care system]

In recognition of Mental Health Awareness Month, the company announced that it is providing support to the National Association of Free and Charitable Clinics, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Mental Health America. The support is focused on equitable, quality access to mental healthcare services and resources, particularly among the Black, Indigenous and people of color community. View the fact sheet to learn more about these grants, additional survey findings and industry research.

This poll was conducted between April 6 to 9, 2022 among a national sample of 2,209 adults. The interviews were conducted online and the data was weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on gender, educational attainment, age, race and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points.

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