Nearly a third of U.S. adults reported symptoms of anxiety or depression

More than 30% of U.S. adults reported experiencing symptoms of anxiety and/or depression, according to new report by the Kaiser Family Foundation.  In addition to the rates of anxiety and/or depression increasing, KFF’s latest Mental Health and Substance Use State Fact Sheets reveal that substance use and death rates due to substances have also worsened in the U.S. 

Other key findings in the KFF reports include:

  • Drug overdose death rates increased by 50% from 2019 to 2021, primarily driven by fentanyl.
  • After a brief period of decline, suicide death rates increased in 2021 but remained just below the peak death rate in 2018.
  • Increases in drug overdose deaths and suicide deaths have disproportionately affected many people of color.
  • Negative mental health and substance use outcomes have also affected youth and young adults.

These findings reinforce what we already know — our country is facing a mental health crisis that has been exacerbated by the pandemic and disproportionately affects some of our most vulnerable populations. While startling, having this data at the state level can help inform our outreach and solutions in communities that need our support the most. Last year alone, 20% of adults with symptoms of anxiety or depression reported needing but not receiving mental health care, and many children with mental health needs did not receive care. This must change.

Data on mental health and unmet care needs is critical to guide our priorities, and underscores the urgency and importance of the work we do to improve mental health and well-being. Each one of these statistics represents the people who make up our communities – our caretakers, our children, our neighbors and employees, and our family members.

It will take all of us coming together to make progress, and we’re deeply committed to making that happen, throughout the communities in the Providence footprint and as we continue to advance this work with like-minded partners nationally.