Mental disorders continue to rise, and Gen Z is suffering most.
- 50% of people will develop at least one mental disorder in their lifetime.
- 87% of Gen Z youth say they struggle with mental health.
- Top reported disorders are depression, anxiety, phobia, and PTSD.
Coming of age. According to WHO data, mental disorders most commonly arise in childhood, adolescence, or young adulthood — making the formative years primetime for intervention.
Citing issues like gun violence, social injustice, climate change, and job availability as major sources of stress, Gen Z is searching for healthy ways to cope.
- A quarter of young people turn to social media for mental health support.
- 35% of Gen Zers engage in self-help habits like meditation and exercise, while 93% practice self-care through music and entertainment.
- And while 22% of young people had tried therapy, 61% reported barriers to access.
At the crux of the crisis is a nationwide struggle to meet demand for treatment.
- Equal coverage for physical and behavioral health was made mandatory by federal law in 2008, but Department of Labor data shows insurers aren’t cooperating.
- The psychiatrist shortage could reach 31K by next year, per Psychiatric Services — leaving 160M+ Americans without access to professional help.
- Nearly 50% of mental health providers don’t accept insurance, a stat largely attributed to low reimbursement rates.
Making matters worse, mental illness in America is akin to a jail sentence, with sufferers 10x more likely to be incarcerated than treated. And even with fast-tracked CBT counselors, psychedelics, and digital therapeutics in the mix, there’s no guaranteed solution in sight.
Punchline: The scope of the mental health crisis is beyond the ability of a single sector to solve. Unwinding the cycle will require government, healthcare, Big Tech, and more to work together on upstream interventions, paying special care to prevention among young people.