Americans are thinking about their own mental well-being less often than early in the pandemic.

Majority of Americans have not sought out professional counseling since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic

The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Annaleise Azevedo Lohr Director, US, Public Affairs
  • Talia Wiseman Senior Research Analyst
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Washington, DC, October 6, 2021 -  A recent Ipsos poll finds that overall, Americans are thinking about their own mental wellbeing less often since early in the pandemic in June 2020. Just over half of Americans classify their mental health within the past week as good or very good; however, men tend to have higher ratings of their mental health this past week than women. A plurality of Americans now say their mental health has gotten worse since the Covid-19 pandemic began, similar to the amount reporting the same in June 2020. Despite reports of worsening mental health, a majority of Americans have not sought out professional counseling or a therapist during the pandemic. On another subject, the poll finds that Idris Elba is the most popular choice for the new James Bond actor.


Detailed Findings  

1. Americans are thinking about their own mental well-being less often than early in the pandemic.

  • Three in five Americans report thinking about their mental health often (58%), similar to the levels reported prior to the pandemic in September 2019 (57%) and seven percentage points below what was reported in June 2020 (65%). Americans are more likely to think of their physical well-being often (73%) than their mental well-being.
  • Just over half of Americans classify their mental health within the past week as good or very good (52%), a five point decline since June 2020 (57%). Men tend to have higher ratings of their mental health this past week, with about three in five rating it as very good or excellent (58%), compared to under half of women (48%). Men also tend to think about their mental well-being less often than women do (56% of men think about it often, 60% of women).
  • Women are more likely than men to agree that seeing a mental health professional is a sign of strength (63% of men, 74% of women) and that mental illness is an illness like any other (65% of men, 71% of women).

 2. Twenty-nine percent of Americans now say their mental health has gotten worse since the Covid-19 pandemic began (29%), a five point decline since June 2020 (34%).

  • Less than one in five Americans say their mental health has gotten better since the pandemic began in March 2020 (14%), matching what was said at the start of the pandemic in June 2020 (15%).
  • Women are nine percentage points more likely than men to say their mental health has gotten worse since the start of the pandemic (33% of women, 24% of men).
  • Despite reports of worsening mental health, a majority of Americans have not sought out professional counseling or a therapist during the pandemic (86%). Additionally, although women were more likely to report worsening mental health, there were no differences between men and women in likeliness to have contacted a therapist during the pandemic (13% and 15% respectively).

 3. The actor most preferred to be cast as the new James Bond is Idris Elba (13%). However, most Americans did not know who they would want cast (62%).  

About the Study 

This Ipsos poll was conducted October 1 – 4, 2021, by Ipsos using the probability-based KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,025 general population adults age 18 or older. The sample includes 515 Males and 510 Females.

The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults. The margin of sampling error takes into account the design effect, which was 1.13. The margin of sampling error is higher and varies for results based on other sub-samples. In our reporting of the findings, percentage points are rounded off to the nearest whole number. As a result, percentages in a given table column may total slightly higher or lower than 100%. In questions that permit multiple responses, columns may total substantially more than 100%, depending on the number of different responses offered by each respondent.

The survey was conducted using KnowledgePanel, the largest and most well-established online probability-based panel that is representative of the adult US population. Our recruitment process employs a scientifically developed addressed-based sampling methodology using the latest Delivery Sequence File of the USPS – a database with full coverage of all delivery points in the US. Households invited to join the panel are randomly selected from all available households in the U.S. Persons in the sampled households are invited to join and participate in the panel. Those selected who do not already have internet access are provided a tablet and internet connection at no cost to the panel member. Those who join the panel and who are selected to participate in a survey are sent a unique password-protected log-in used to complete surveys online. As a result of our recruitment and sampling methodologies, samples from KnowledgePanel cover all households regardless of their phone or internet status and findings can be reported with a margin of sampling error and projected to the general population.

The data were weighted to adjust for gender by age, race/ethnicity, education, Census region, metropolitan status, household income, race/ethnicity by gender, race/ethnicity by age, and race/ethnicity by education. The demographic benchmarks came from the 2019 American Community Survey (ACS) except for the metropolitan status, which is not available from the 1-year ACS data, were obtained from the 2020 March Supplement of the Current Population Survey (CPS).

  • Gender (Male, Female) by Age (18–25, 26–39, 40-54 and 55+)
  • Race/Hispanic Ethnicity (White Non-Hispanic, Black Non-Hispanic, Latinx, Asian, Other)
  • Education (Less than High School, High School, Some College, Bachelor or higher)
  • Census Region (Northeast, Midwest, South, West) by Metropolitan status (Metro, non-Metro)
  • Household Income (Under $25,000, $25,000-$49,999, $50,000-$74,999, $75,000-$99,999, $100,000-$149,999, $150,000+)
  • Race/ethnicity (White/Other Non-Hispanic, Black Non-Hispanic, Latinx, Asian) by Gender (Male, Female)
  • Race/ethnicity (White/Other Non-Hispanic, Black Non-Hispanic, Latinx, Asian) by Age (18-44, 45+)
  • Race/ethnicity (White/Other Non-Hispanic, Black Non-Hispanic, Latinx, Asian) by Education (Some College or less, Bachelor and beyond)

Chris Jackson
Senior Vice President, U.S., Public Affairs
Ipsos
+1 202 420-2025
[email protected]

Kate Silverstein
Media Relations Specialist, U.S., Public Affairs
Ipsos
+1 718 755-8829
[email protected]

About Ipsos 

Ipsos is the world’s third largest Insights and Analytics company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP www.ipsos.com

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The author(s)

  • Chris Jackson Senior Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Annaleise Azevedo Lohr Director, US, Public Affairs
  • Talia Wiseman Senior Research Analyst

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