‘New Normalization’ Survey Shows Discussion of Mental Health Care Has Shifted From Secrecy and Stigma to Everyday Conversation
8 in 10 Respondents Reported That More People Are Open to Going to Therapy Than They Were 3 Years Ago
As collective attention on mental health emerges as the post-pandemic “new normal,” stigma around mental health care is waning dramatically: 65% of respondents said they’re more likely to discuss mental health with their friends than pre-pandemic. Mental health was also ranked among topics people were most comfortable talking about with friends (66% of respondents), only behind their jobs (82%), and ahead of other issues like physical health (65%), family dynamics (57%), weight or physical appearance (46%), and finances (27%).
Additionally, people believe mental health deserves the same attention and upkeep as physical health. Expectations of insurers and employers have shifted, as more people want their employers and insurers to support mental health care. 98% of respondents believe mental health treatment should be covered by their insurance, “regardless of a diagnosable condition,” and in the same way that preventive care is covered for physical health. 86% of respondents also said that getting therapy covered through their employer would make them more likely to stay at their job.
“These findings represent a seismic shift in public opinion, and one we have been working with major health plans and employers for the last few years to lay the groundwork for: that mental health care is a necessity and needs to be treated at the level of importance we have historically treated physical health,” said
Other takeaways from the survey include:
- People of color are increasingly embracing therapy. 70% of respondents identifying as Black, Indigenous, Hispanic/Latinx or Asian/Pacific Islander said that their friends and family are more likely to seek therapy than before the pandemic, compared to 64% of White/Caucasian respondents (statistically significant).
Tolerance for mental health struggles is higher than ever. As public figures like
PennsylvaniaSenator John Fettermanare open about their mental health struggles, 3 in 4 respondents said that their opinion of business (76%) or community or political leaders (74%) would not be negatively impacted if the leader admitted to struggling. Fewer than 10% expressed that they’d think less of a leader with mental health challenges.
- Workplace mental health benefits are equally, if not more, effective at relieving stress than wellness days, according to 90% of respondents.
- Mental health care is about prevention, not just a crisis or condition. Therapy is now considered akin to preventive care or an exercise routine, something that everybody should do to maintain health and stop issues before they start. 91% of respondents agreed with the statement, “Therapy and mental wellness exercises are a good practice to prevent your mental health from worsening.”
- Family and relationships still cause us the most mental stress. Of the respondents currently in therapy, the most discussed subjects are family relationships (55%), working through past trauma (52%), and spouse/significant other relationships (51%).
You can download the full survey results here.
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