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.