HealthDay News — Young adults report unmet need for mental health care, according to a study published online April 11 in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Sally H. Adams, Ph.D., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues used data from the Household Pulse Survey (June to July 2021) to assess young adult (2,809 individuals; aged 18 to 25 years) anxiety/depressive symptoms, mental health care utilization (prescription drug use, counseling, and/or either), and unmet counseling/therapy needs.

The researchers found that 48 percent of young adults reported anxiety and/or depression symptoms indicating need for further screening or treatment. About one-third of those with symptoms (39 percent) received care (prescription medication and/or counseling) and roughly one-third (36 percent) expressed unmet counseling/therapy needs. While not a statistically significant difference, female, Hispanic, and uninsured young adults reported greater unmet need.

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“Given that only about one-third of those with symptoms received care, we might have expected to see closer to two-thirds reporting unmet need,” Adams said in a statement. “It could be that the people with symptoms who didn’t report unmet need either didn’t think their symptoms were serious enough for treatment or feared the stigma of needing mental health services.”

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