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CVS Health survey shows mental health concerns continue to rise

Concerns are higher than during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the effects of social media a driving factor.

A recent CVS Health Morning Consult survey found that a majority of adults have significant concerns about their mental health and rates across the country continue to rise.

The survey listed other findings:

  • Two-thirds (65%) of adults have experienced concerns about their own mental health or the mental health of their friends and family, which is up six percentage points from 2022 and 15 percentage points from 2020.
  • About eight in 10 adults (77%) are concerned about mental health in the country, viewing it as a top concern in line with issues such as the economy (81%).
  • Seventy percent of parents are concerned about their children's mental health, which is higher than their concerns about their children's physical health (66%).

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  • Respondents are likely to turn to mental well-being apps (48%) and therapists (55%) for care.

"Mental health became a top concern in 2020 and it has only risen since," said Taft Parsons III, vice president and chief psychiatric officer of CVS Health. "Uncertainty around the future, current events and social media continue to drive anxiety among adults. Our priority, across CVS Health, remains improving access to quality virtual and in-person mental health care and ensuring we have resources in place to address the unique needs of individuals."

[Read more: Dollar General highlights commitments to mental health]

Americans are concerned about social media's implications on their mental health, CVS Health said.

  • The survey also found that nearly four in 10 adults (37%) believe social media has hurt society at-large.
  • As a result, a third of adults have started to turn off notifications for social media apps and are attempting to spend less time on social media.
  • About half of parents feel that social media is impacting their children's perceptions of the world and their children's development.
  • On the other hand, more than one in three adults (36%) report that social media has taught them about mental health issues.

"Our increasing use of technology has helped increase access to mental health care – CVS Health has had over 43 million mental health virtual visits since 2020 – and created a way for people to talk openly about the topic, reducing stigma," Parsons III said. "But as we navigate the impacts social media has on mental health, it has become increasingly important that we highlight its limitations and set guardrails for ourselves and our children."

CVS Health said it continues to increase accessibility to both in-person and virtual mental health services:

  • In select states, consumers have access to in-person and virtual mental health services at MinuteClinic. Approximately 78% of patients report a reduction in their depression symptoms.
  • MinuteClinic offers depression screenings virtually and in all MinuteClinic locations.
  • CVS Health launched Be Seen Be Heard to increase depression screenings among underserved communities.
  • In April, as part of its Centering Youth Mental Health program, the CVS Health Foundation awarded grants to the Greater Flint Health Coalition, Kentucky Youth Advocates and Reinvent South Stockton Coalition to support their work to provide accessible adolescent and young adult mental health services.
  • Project Health includes depression screenings at all their events.
  • Resources for Living takes a comprehensive, preventive approach to members' mental health, improving patient access and driving cost savings, including total medical costs, prescription costs, hospital services and in-network care utilization.
  • As part of its focus on reducing suicide attempts among Aetna members, CVS Health has seen a 16% reduction in suicide attempts among Aetna adult Commercial members when compared with a 2019 baseline.
  • Signify Health screens individuals for depression in every In-Home Health Evaluation visit.
  • At Oak Street Health, patients are able to schedule both behavioral and physical health appointments.
  • CVS Health offers a number of mental health resources and guides on, including a resource center focused on the unique mental health needs of different populations – from the LGBTQ+ community to parents and caregivers.
  • As part of the Beauty Mark initiative, CVS Health promotes healthier self-image and positive mental well-being by not materially altering the beauty imagery created for stores, marketing materials, websites, apps or social media.

This poll was conducted by Morning Consult between March 19-21, 2024, among a national sample of 2,202 adults. 


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