Gen Z’s Mental Healthcare Bill is Adding Up

Gen Z spends more on mental health than anyone, and it’s not even close.

What’s happening: A new report from Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) highlighted the disproportionate amount of spending from those under 25 compared to overall healthcare spending.

  • One in six youth experience mental illness each year, a number that’s rising.
  • Anxiety-related diagnoses are rising faster for younger generations than older generations.
  • Youth under 18 make up 25% of all mental health spending but only 12% of total healthcare spending.
  • Despite making up 36% of the enrolled population, those under 25 accounted for 42% of spending for mental health and substance abuse treatment in 2020.

Why it matters: 70% of Gen Z say mental health is a top priority, above other aspects of well-being. But, only 45% report having “very good mental health.” There’s an obvious disconnect here.

Punchline: Championing mental health has become part of Gen Z’s identity, but that doesn’t mean they’ve got it under control. With nearly half of America’s youth dealing with a behavioral health condition, providers will need to offer more nuanced, empathetic, and accessible treatment.

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