Mental Health America releases analysis of its 2023 online mental health screens; U.S. sees continued rise of anxiety, psychosis and ADHD risk

Rates of suicidal ideation are highest among youth, especially LGBTQ+ youth of color

ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 01, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- More than 6.5 million people worldwide in 2023 took a mental health screening test through the Mental Health America (MHA) online Prevention and Screening Program, with 79% of users located in the U.S. scoring positive for moderate to severe symptoms of a mental health condition. Rates of anxiety and risk for psychosis remain higher than prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, while the ADHD screen overtook depression to become the most widely taken screen of 2023.
MHA is releasing this data in conjunction with the beginning of Mental Health Month in May, which it established 75 years ago to promote mental health and well-being through awareness and education. This year’s theme, “Where to Start: Mental Health in a Changing World,” and accompanying resources focus on how external factors, such as society, politics or the economy, can make seeking help for a mental health condition even more overwhelming.
People who screened at risk for mental health conditions are struggling most with body image or self-image and relationship problems, according to the data. Among those who screened positive or moderate to severe for a mental health condition in 2023, 58% cited body image or self-image as one of the top three reasons contributing to their mental health concerns, followed by 49% reporting relationship problems and 47% reporting school or work problems.
Youth continue to show worrisome signs of suicidal ideation, with 49% of screeners under the age of 18 reporting frequent suicidal ideation on more than half or nearly every day of the previous two weeks. LGBTQ+ youth who identified as “other” race were most likely to report suicidal ideation at 64%.
Screening data further reveal that people taking the ADHD screening tend to be slightly older than the general screening average, with 64% of ADHD screeners over the age of 18 compared with 59% of overall screeners over 18. Even so, ADHD screeners under 18 show the highest signs of severity, with 88% of youth taking the screens scoring at risk.
“We are in a mental health crisis – one that disproportionately affects youth and BIPOC communities,” said Schroeder Stribling, president and CEO of Mental Health America. “And it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to taking care of your own well-being – especially in the rapidly changing world around us, with so many external factors beyond individual control. Our online Prevention and Screening Program is a good first step for millions of people each year who are seeking to understand and improve their own mental health.”

Started 10 years ago, MHA’s Prevention and Screening Program is a collection of free, anonymous and clinically validated screening tools, with 11 tests in English and two in Spanish. Since 2014, more than 25.6 million people have taken a screen to check on their mental health concerns online, making this program the nation’s largest ongoing, real-time mental health early identification program.
MHA has a new, free downloadable toolkit with resources to help individuals and organizations promote awareness during Mental Health Month, including DIY tools, social media assets, templates and printable handouts. In addition, its “Where to Start” book, which helps individuals struggling with mental health find direction and resources, is now out in paperback form.
Other notable 2023 screening trends include:

  • Overall, 36% (201,497) of individuals who took the depression screen reported frequent suicidal ideation in 2023.
  • Rates of suicidal ideation for all Black, Indigenous and people of color were higher than rates for white screeners; 40% of BIPOC screeners reported frequent suicidal ideation, as opposed to 33% of white screeners.
  • Rates of those at risk for psychotic experiences have continued to increase compared with pre-pandemic rates, growing from 73% at risk in 2019 to a staggering 80% in 2023.  

Read the full analysis here.

About Mental Health America

Mental Health America is the nation’s leading community-driven nonprofit dedicated to promoting mental health and well-being, resilience, recovery, and closing the mental health equity gap. Mental Health America’s work is driven by its commitment to promote mental health as a critical part of whole person health, including prevention services for all; early identification and intervention for those at risk; and integrated care, services and supports for those who need them. Learn more at


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