NEW YORK – A new survey reveals that most people don’t wait when they feel they need help. Eight out of 10 Americans think it’s perfectly acceptable to see a therapist without an official diagnosis.
The recent survey of 2,002 US respondents finds that 67% felt more in touch with their emotions in 2021 compared to 2020, and continued therapy may be to blame. However, the results also suggest that people continue to have mixed views about mental health care.
Is there still a stigma around therapy?
Driven by OnePoll on behalf of Vida Health, the survey also revealed that 46% still believe going to therapy is a sign of weakness. This mirrors the results of a similar survey conducted by OnePoll and Vida Health in 2020, in which 47% felt the same way, suggesting that attempts to break the stigma have not been very successful.
Nearly half of Americans are more hesitant to receive virtual healthcare as their mental or physical health symptoms worsen. Millennials were the most reluctant to seek virtual therapy as their symptoms progressed (70%), more so than Gen X respondents (41%) and Baby Boomers (20%) combined. Eight in 10 add that they have sought or received more mental health treatment in the past year than before.
Two in five continued or started taking medication to treat their mental health symptoms. In addition to coping with general stress (49%) and pandemic stress (46%), people also frequently seek help after starting or ending a romantic relationship (43%) or becoming a parent for first time (36%).
“The ongoing pandemic has been compounded by major life changes, such as starting a new job or becoming a parent, which put even greater pressure on mental health,” says Patrick Carroll, Vida Health’s chief medical officer. , in a press release. “It is encouraging that people continue to be open to seeking therapy; however, the fact that the same number of people are still stigmatizing it a year later is concerning. We need to go beyond access to these essential services because, as we have seen, people still fail to act even when they have access to quality care.
Tackling mental health
For 45% of Americans, 2022 represents an opportunity to focus equally on their mental and physical health. More than half of respondents (54%) plan to continue or even increase the time they spend in therapy this year, compared to just 29% who aim to reduce their visits.
Acknowledging that mental and physical health are linked, 37% plan to eat healthier, while 36% will sleep more and stay active or exercise regularly for their mental wellbeing.
“While we still have some way to go in de-stigmatizing therapy, we are happy to see people looking for different solutions to improve their mental well-being in the new year,” adds Carroll. “There is no single approach to mental health care, and it is often a combination of activities that has the greatest impact on an individual.”