CVS Health Survey Reports Increases in Mental Health Concerns Since 2020

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The survey reported that approximately 65% of participants were concerned about their mental health, which is a 15% increase since 2020.

CVS Health billboard -- Image credit: monticellllo | stock.adobe.com

Image credit: monticellllo | stock.adobe.com

According to a recent CVS Health/Morning Consult survey, the majority of adults have significant concerns about their mental health, and rates across the country continue to rise. The reported numbers increased by approximately 6% since 2022 and 15% since 2020.1

This recent survey was conducted between March 19 and March 21, 2024, and included a total of 2202 adults. Interviews were conducted online, and data were weighted to generate a target sample of adults based on their age, gender, education, race, and region.1

"Mental health became a top concern in 2020 and it has only risen since. Uncertainty around the future, current events and social media continue to drive anxiety among adults,” said Taft Parsons III, MD, vice president and chief psychiatric officer at CVS Health, in a press release. “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."1

According to the survey results, approximately 65% of adults have experienced concerns about either their own mental health or the mental health of a loved one, and this has increased since 2020 (50%). Notably, parents are worried about their children’s mental health, with 70% reporting that this is a concern, and 66% noting that they are more concerned about their mental health over their physical health. Additionally, CVS found that 77% of adults are concerned about mental health in the country and list it as a top concern along with other issues, such as the economy. Additionally, the surveyors enrolled reported that they would be likely to use both apps (48%) and therapists (55%) to help improve their emotional and mental well-being.1,2

In general, the survey takers emphasized that social media has an influence on the emotional and mental well-being of themselves and others, with approximately 37% reporting it has harmful effects. To counteract this, the participants reported turning off notifications for social media applications while making an active effort to limit their usage time (33%). Half of parents also noted that social media is negatively influencing both their children’s perceptions of the world and their development. Alternatively, approximately 36% of survey takers reported that social media had benefits, specifically noting that it helped them learn about mental health issues.1

Notably, the 2022 survey emphasized that those in the LGBTQIA+ community, young adults, Black participants, and those aged 65 years and older reported greater increases in mental health concerns. Approximately 57% of respondents who identified as LGBTQIA+ emphasized concerns about their own mental health and reported concerns approximately 20% higher compared to other survey takers. Additionally, an 11% increase in mental health concerns since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic was observed in Black participants. Participants aged 65 years and older experienced mental health concerns for themselves and their loved ones (40%), and an approximate 10% increase was reported compared with the 2020 report.2

"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," said Parsons in the press release. "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."1

To help counteract the rise in mental health concerns, CVS Health reports offering both in-person and virtual mental health services—including depression screenings—at their MinuteClinics. Other efforts include the Be Seen Be Heard initiative, which helps those in underserved communities access depression screenings, as well as a specialized resource center online that is catered to the needs of certain populations (eg, LGTBQIA+ individuals, young adults, and parents or caregivers).1,2

References
  1. PR Newswire. CVS Health survey shows mental health concerns continue to rise. News release. May 9, 2024. Accessed May 9, 2024. https://prnmedia.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cvs-health-survey-shows-mental-health-concerns-continue-to-rise-302140086.html
  2. CVS Health. CVS Health / Morning Consult survey finds mental health concerns increase substantially among Americans of all backgrounds. News release. May 2, 2022. Accessed May 9, 2024. https://www.cvshealth.com/news/mental-health/cvs-health-morning-consult-survey-finds-mental-health-concerns.html
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