Thursday, December 22, 2022

More Americans Rate Their Mental Health Worse Compared With a Year Ago, Poll Finds

Most American adults anticipate feeling the same level of stress or more stress at the start of 2023 than they felt at the start of 2022, according to the latest findings from APA’s Healthy Minds Poll.

“Americans are telling us that they are concerned about their mental health going into the New Year, and we must continue to prioritize our physical and mental wellness as a society,” said APA President Rebecca W. Brendel, M.D., J.D., in a news release. “It’s concerning any time we hear Americans say that they are more stressed out and that their mental health is worse, and we know that there are many contributing causes, including economic uncertainty and another season of respiratory illnesses.”

The Healthy Minds Monthly Poll was conducted by Morning Consult on December 7 and 8 with a sample of 2,212 adults. The margin of error was plus or minus two percentage points, and the interviews were conducted online.

In relation to current events, respondents have remained consistently anxious about inflation (82%) and a recession (75%) over the past polls taken in October, November, and December. In this poll, 46% of moms reported anxiety over the COVID-19 pandemic, compared with 36% in the poll conducted last month.

Thirty-seven percent of Americans rated their mental health as only fair or poor, up from 31% last year. Young adults aged 18 to 34 were especially likely to rate their mental health in 2022 as fair or poor (48%), as well as adults who made under $50,000 (41%).

When asked about the sources of their anxiety in the coming year, respondents indicated they were somewhat or very anxious about the following:

  • Personal finances (64%, up from 58% last year).
  • The uncertainty of 2023 (55%, up from 54% last year).
  • Their physical health (49%, up from 44% last year).
  • Their mental health (41%, up from 37% last year).
  • Relationships with friends and family (31%, up from 28% last year).

Twenty-nine percent of Americans say they plan to adopt New Year’s resolutions related to their mental health. Of those, most said their resolutions will be to exercise more (65%), meditate (45%), see a therapist (38%), focus on spirituality (37%), or take a break from social media (32%).

“Focusing on our mental health is so important in stressful times, and we are in stressful times,” APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A., said in the release. “Self-care is important, but it’s promising to see that nearly two in five people are considering therapy in 2023. The guidance and support of a mental health professional can be life changing.”

For related information, see the Psychiatric News AlertNearly 1 in 3 Americans Anticipates More Stress Over Holidays This Year.”

(Image: iStock/PeopleImages)

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