More than 8 million Americans now suffer from psychological distress.
Millions more Americans now report suffering from serious mental health problems – but our healthcare system is struggling to meet the demand.
The survey, spanning eight years, involved more than 200,000 US residents aged 18-64. It concluded that 3.4 percent of the population now suffer from ‘severe psychological distress’ (SPD). Such distress includes mental health issues so serious that they affect someone’s physical well being.
This means that more than 8 million adult Americans suffer from mental health issues. This is far higher than researchers had previously assumed.
Researchers also found that access to mental health care services deteriorated between 2006 and 2014 for SPD sufferers, compared to those who didn’t report mental distress.
“Although our analysis does not give concrete reasons why mental health services are diminishing, it could be from shortages in professional help, increased costs of care not covered by insurance [and other issues]” said lead researcher Judith Weissman from NYU Langone Medical Center.
Researchers looked at data from the CDC’s 2006-2014 annual National Health Interview Survey, which has been conducted for more than 60 years in about 35,000 US households nationwide.
The study asks participants questions such as how often they feel so sad that nothing can cheer them up or that everything they do is worthless.
Together, the frequency of such symptoms allows researchers to assess whether someone is likely to be suffering from SPD or not. More.