Insights on utilization of behavioral health services in the context of COVID-19

Behavioral health needs have increased since the pandemic began even as the use of behavioral health services has decreased.

In order to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the use of behavioral health services, McKinsey’s Center for Societal Benefit through Healthcare analyzed a data sample from 115,000 healthcare providers who delivered behavioral healthcare to more than 20 million Americans in 2019 and 2020. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, psychological distress and substance use have reached new levels in the United States. While there has been a decline in the use of behavioral health services, the rise of telehealth has helped maintain access to care during the pandemic and suggests some options for stakeholders as they look towards 2021 and beyond.


In this infographic, we provide data to describe the trends in behavioral health utilization in 2020 and suggest actions stakeholders can consider taking in 2021. This publication builds on prior publications: Unlocking whole person care through behavioral health and Understanding the hidden costs of COVID-19s potential impact on US healthcare.

For more related insights, visit the Center for Societal Benefit through Healthcare’s webpage.

Impact of COVID-19 on behavioral health and potential contributing factors
We strive to provide individuals with disabilities equal access to our website. If you would like information about this content we will be happy to work with you. Please email us at:

Related Articles