September 24, 2021

The latest national survey of Americans’ mental health showed that Americans’ attitudes toward mental illness have improved, but the survey also showed that people still struggle with some of the most difficult aspects of the condition.

The survey from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) asked 1,004 adults a series of questions about their mental health and symptoms, and found that Americans are now less likely to have negative feelings toward mental health, and less likely than ever to be worried about mental health problems in the workplace.

But the survey, conducted last year, didn’t ask people whether they had experienced an episode of depression or anxiety.

It asked participants to answer “yes” to the question, “Have you ever had a major depressive episode?”

It also asked participants whether they reported feeling suicidal or experiencing thoughts of suicide.

In response, only 26 percent of those surveyed reported experiencing an episode, and only 12 percent reported that they had had suicidal thoughts.

The survey also found that the percentage of people who were diagnosed with a mental health condition that year was up to 6 percentage points higher than it was a decade earlier.

Among people ages 18 to 29, the percentage who reported being diagnosed with depression was up from 11 percent in 2011 to 12 percent in 2016.

The percentage of respondents reporting being diagnosed as having anxiety increased from 5 percent to 10 percent, while the percentage reporting being treated for depression increased from 8 percent to 11 percent.

Overall, the survey found that people were more likely to report experiencing depressive symptoms than any other mental health problem, but those feelings didn’t rise as sharply as they did in the wake of the pandemic.

“While people who have depression or other mental disorders are experiencing depression and anxiety in equal proportions, depression and panic disorder, and bipolar disorder, they are significantly more likely than any of the other mental illnesses to have anxiety and depressive symptoms,” NIMH director Thomas Szasz said in a statement.

“The fact that they are less likely is due to their unique circumstances.”

In the survey’s third question, participants were asked whether they felt “sad or hopeless,” “angry or frustrated,” “in need of help,” or “not in control of their own lives.”

Only 5 percent of respondents said they felt sad or hopeless, while 13 percent felt angry or frustrated, and 14 percent said “not at all in control.”

Overall, Americans’ views about mental illness did not change dramatically over the past decade.

In 2011, 45 percent of Americans said that they were “very worried about” or “somewhat worried” about mental illnesses, while 42 percent said the same in 2016, and 28 percent said they were at least somewhat worried.

“The public is not at all convinced that we are taking mental health seriously enough,” Szaszz said.

“There is a great deal of work to be done to reduce stigma around mental health in this country.”

More than three-quarters of Americans believe that people who struggle with mental illness need treatment.

The percentage of Americans who say that people with mental illnesses are “sick or sick,” “depressed” or have “a significant mental health disorder” has declined from 60 percent in 2007 to 48 percent in 2017.

Szasz noted that the survey didn’t look at specific mental illnesses.

But the survey did ask about other mental conditions, including anxiety and depression.

“People who are not suffering from depression are more likely in the survey to report feeling hopeless and feeling powerless,” Szadzi said.

While the percentage that said they experienced depression in the past year fell from 17 percent to 16 percent in the last year of the survey and from 18 percent to 15 percent in 2018, Szaszy said the percentage has been increasing since.

Americans also were asked if they thought mental health care should be more accessible, more comprehensive or free.

Overall, 57 percent of people said it should be easier to get mental health treatment, while 36 percent said it needs to be more comprehensive, and 11 percent said free mental health services should be available.

Szazs statement comes as President Donald Trump, who has made tackling mental health a priority, recently announced that he will unveil a plan that would make it easier for people to get and keep mental health coverage.

It would allow people to buy insurance plans through the HealthCare.gov marketplace, and it would also expand access to mental health treatments.

Trump also signed a bill in February that would require insurers to cover mental health diagnoses, including depression, bipolar disorder and other mental and emotional disorders, as well as substance use disorders.