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Alexandria, VA – May is Mental Health Awareness month, a time that’s dedicated to raising awareness, and identifying resources for those living with mental illness. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the COVID-19 crisis triggered a 25% increase in the prevalence of anxiety and depression worldwide as the last two years have taken a toll on millions due to the stress, isolation, and uncertainty resulting from the pandemic. Given the short and potential long-term impacts, it's now more important than ever to have a foundation of knowledge regarding mental health and the signs to look for to help. 

For the past seven years, SingleCare, the free prescription savings service that has helped millions of Americans save on their medications, has been a partner and supporter of Mental Health America (MHA). This year, MHA and SingleCare partnered to survey Americans to better understand how they perceive mental health and what are the barriers to treatment. 

 

SingleCare & Mental Health America Survey Identifies Affordability as the Greatest Barrier to Mental Health Care 

SingleCare and Mental Health America surveyed 1,078 U.S. respondents to gain insight as to how they understand mental health and what is impacting their health today: 

 

Americans feel they need mental health treatment, however, many are not seeking help. 

  • 40% feel as though they need mental health treatment. 

  • 26% said they have sought mental health treatment as a result of pandemic-related anxiety or depression. 

  • 74% said they’ve considered taking a mental health test or screen.

Current events are impacting America's mental health. 

  • 39% said the pandemic has had the biggest impact on their mental health over the past year.

  • Over one quarter (26%) of respondents said they’ve either struggled significantly or could use help following the pandemic. 

  • About 1 in 5 respondents (21%) said they have been affected by mood changes as a result of testing positive for COVID-19 or experiencing symptoms of long COVID. 

  • 42% said that watching or reading about recent international news has had an impact on their ability to focus on daily tasks.

  • Nearly two-thirds of respondents (62%) said the rising cost of inflation rates and rent increases has made a negative impact on their mental health. 

Cost is the biggest barrier when it comes to mental health care. 

  • 80% said that mental health treatment should either be free or provided at a reduced cost through financial assistance by government programs.

  • 56% of respondents said the cost of therapy and doctor appointments are the biggest barrier when it comes to mental health care, with other barriers being:

    • finding the right doctor/therapist (41%)

    • the cost of medicine (34%)

    • they don’t know where to start finding care (26%)

    • the negative stigma with mental health care (25%)

    • difficulty finding a therapist/doctor taking new patients (22%)

  • Nearly a third (30%) said they’ve skipped either seeing a mental health professional or taking medication due to cost.  

  • Of those who are currently receiving mental health care treatment, 17% said they have paid at least $101 per visit.

“Mental illness is insidious as it's commonly underdiagnosed since most don’t know the signs to look for in themselves and their loved ones,” says Ramzi Yacoub, Pharm.D., chief pharmacy officer at SingleCare. “Making matters worse, many are then faced with expensive treatments leaving them unable to seek the help they need. It’s imperative that those who need treatment can access more affordable options for medication or therapy.”