About 1 in 4 young adults getting mental health care: CDC

Almost a quarter of all young adults received mental health care treatment last year, according to recently released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

The number of adults aged 18 to 44 who received mental health care in the past 12 months saw the biggest increase from 2019, rising from 18.5 percent to 23.2 percent. The percentage of all adults who received mental health treatment also increased from 19.2 percent in 2019 to 21.6 percent in 2021. 

The percentage of adults aged 45 to 64 who received treatment saw a more modest increase from 20.2 percent to 21.2 percent, while the percentage of adults aged 65 and older decreased slightly from 19.4 percent to 18.9 percent. 

The CDC considered adults to have received mental health treatment if they reported taking prescription medication for their mental health, receiving counseling or therapy from a mental health professional or both. 

Women were more likely to have received mental health treatment during men during 2019, 2020 and 2021, but the amount who received treatment increased for both. The data shows 28.6 percent of women of all ages received treatment in the past 12 months in 2021, up from 23.8 percent, while 17.8 percent of men reported receiving it that year, up from 13.1 percent. 

Researchers found differences in who was most likely to receive mental health treatment by race among adults aged 18 to 44. Non-Hispanic white adults were the most likely, with 30.4 percent having done so in 2021. 

Only 14.8 percent of non-Hispanic Black adults, 12.8 percent of Hispanic adults and 10.8 percent of non-Hispanic Asian adults reported receiving treatment in 2021. 

Non-Hispanic Asian adults remained the least likely to receive treatment in each of the three years reviewed. 

The CDC reported increases among adults aged 18 to 44 regardless of the type of location where they live. The percentage rose from 16.8 percent to 22.2 percent among those living in large metropolitan areas, 21.1 percent to 24.6 percent among those in small or medium metropolitan areas and 20 percent to 25.2 percent among those in nonmetropolitan areas. 

The CDC reviewed data collected by the National Health Interview Survey from 2019 to 2021 for its analysis.

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