Americans’ Reported Mental Health at New Low; More Seek Help

Americans’ positive self-assessments of their mental health are the lowest in more than two decades of Gallup polling. In all, 31% of U.S. adults describe their mental health or emotional wellbeing as “excellent,” the worst rating by three percentage points.

Another 44% of Americans rate their mental health as “good,” and the 75% combined excellent and good rating is the lowest on record and 10 points shy of the average since 2001. In addition, 17% of U.S. adults describe their mental health as “only fair” and 7% as “poor.” The latter figure is the highest in Gallup’s trend.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans’ “excellent” ratings of their mental health averaged 45%. Gallup polling early in the pandemic found that U.S. adults were concerned about their own mental health and that of their children. By November 2020, eight months after the pandemic began in the U.S., Americans’ excellent assessments of their own mental health dropped nine points to 34%, a new low since the measure was first tracked in 2001.

Last year, the reading was unchanged. The latest three-point dip in excellent mental health evaluations, from a Nov. 9-Dec. 2 Gallup poll, suggests that although the pandemic has improved, some of its ill effects remain. These include economic concerns precipitated by the highest inflation rate in more than four decades.

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