Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, mental health has declined for many Americans, with more individuals reporting mental illness since 2019. Those diagnosed with mental illness have disproportionately faced economic disadvantages and report greater financial stress. Affordability barriers are compounding these challenges by limiting mental health access for many in need.
Among our findings:
- More respondents are seeking psychotherapy, behavioral health help, and treatment at an ER for mental health needs since 2019.1
- Respondents reporting mental illness said they have greater fears around keeping their housing, especially if they have children.2
- Respondents reporting mental illness were on average 66 percent more likely to report debt across all categories.3
- Those who report having a mental health condition but have not sought treatment are 60 percent more likely to declare mental health services unaffordable.4
- Those reporting having a mental illness said they were less likely to pursue education or additional training.5
The lower sense of financial security reported by those with mental illness underscores the importance of holistic care for behavioral health—not just treating mental illness symptoms but considering the broader needs an individual with mental illness may have. Holistic approaches, such as supportive housing and supportive employment, can improve outcomes across both healthcare and broader functioning in society.6