People Seeking Counseling

Part
01
of three
Part
01

People Seeking Counseling-1970-1990

The number of people in the US that sought counseling/mental health services between 1970 and 1990 could not be found from, neither could it be estimated. The useful insights gathered during the research are below.

USEFUL INSIGHTS

  • Depression is a common form of mental illness in the US, with about 7.4% of adults suffering from the condition in 2016.
  • As of 2016, 31% of adults under residential healthcare had depression.
  • From 1970 to 2004, the number of 24-hour residential mental treatment beds decreased by 77.4%, when adjusted for the growth in the US population.
  • The number of older US adults that had mental and behavioral health problems in 1970 was about 4 million.
  • Between 1970 and 1979, the number of state and county hospital beds decreased by 62%.
  • NIMH, with data from 1972, noted that 48.6% of inpatient admissions to state and county mental hospitals were voluntary admissions.
  • From 1970 to 1990, the number of residents in private psychiatric inpatient beds increased by 194% (from 10,963 patients in 1970 to 32,268 patients in 1990).
  • In 1970, there were a total of 524,878 inpatient psychiatric beds in the US. This figure decreased to 272,253 by 1990.
  • In 1986, less than 2% of adolescents in the US received any type of mental health service.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

Your research team commenced by searching through industry data providers’ sites and health media organizations such as Statista, NRI and BusinessInsider. This approach could only provide the number of adults in the US that suffer from depression in the year 2016. This approach was however unsuccessful in yielding the number of people that sought counseling services/mental health services between 1970 and 1990.
Next, we searched through authoritative government and regulating agencies such as the American Psychological Association (APA), the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors (NASMHPD), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and the American Counseling Association (ACA). We searched through these sources for records or public healthcare data that could reveal the required data or insights from which we could estimate the number of people that sought counseling/mental health services between 1970 and 1990. Unfortunately, this approach only showed that there were about 4 million US adults who had mental and behavioral health problems in 1970, and the number of residents in private psychiatric inpatient beds increased by 194% from 1970 to 1990.
We then went further to search for public healthcare and patients’ surveys from various organizations such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and other public healthcare regulatory boards for records or survey data that we could scale up to account for the entire US population. However, this approach produced no useful result.
Furthermore, we delved deeper to search through authoritative and reputable academic journals and publications, as well as psychological and mental research projects. We had hoped that we would find some proprietary research with findings that we could leverage as proxies to estimate the number of people who sought for counseling/mental health services in the US from 1970 to 1990. The sources we searched include publications from the Ohio State University (OSU) & Miami University, journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. We were only able to find from these sources that there were a total of 524,878 inpatient psychiatric beds in the US in 1970 and by 1990, the number had decreased to 272,253, and less than 2% of adolescents in the US received mental health services in 1986.
Unsatisfied with the seeming unavailability of enough information, we went further to expand the research scope to include sources older than 2 years, even those published as far back as 1979. We resorted to this see if we would find any historical data, news publications or media releases that could lead us to any useful mention of state of mental healthcare and counseling services in the US in the period from 1970 through 1990, that could yield sufficient information to provide an estimate of the number of people that sought counseling/mental health services in the US from 1970 to 1990. The prevailing unavailability of the required information can be attributed to the age of the required data and the insights required to estimate it, as there was less developed and less widespread use of data and information storage systems from 1970 to 1990 as there are now.

Part
02
of three
Part
02

People Seeking Counseling-1991-2010

It is estimated that a total of 491.65 million people in the US sought mental health services between the years 1991 and 2010.

USEFUL FINDINGS

  • From a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) in 2004, involving 1,000 randomly selected Americans between the ages of 16 and 64 years, it was found that 48% of them reported a visit to a mental healthcare professional.
  • In 2011, over 41 million US adults had any mental illness.
  • In any given year, an estimated 18.1% of US adults aged above 18 years suffer from mental illness.
  • Every year, mental disorders affect 44 million American adults and 13.7 million children.
  • The prevalence of mental health disorders among US adults is relatively stagnant.
  • About half (50%) of the children with mental disorders in the US do not receive mental health services. Hence, about 50% of the children with mental disorders in the US receive mental health services.
  • In 2018, 43.3% of the US adults with mental disorders received treatments.
  • Fifty-seven percent (57%) of US adults with mental disorders do not receive treatment/mental health service. Hence, there are 43% of US Adults with mental disorders that receive mental health services.

CALCULATIONS AND ASSUMPTIONS

From the findings above, the average number of US adults with mental disorders who received sought/received mental health services = (43.3% + 43% + 48%)/3 ≅ 44.767%. Since the prevalence of mental health disorders among US adults is almost the same for different years (relatively constant), we assumed that it is approximately the same for the period of years between 2010 and 1991, as well as that of children.
The number of years between 2010 and 1991 = 2010 – 1991 = 19 years. The average number of men that have mental disorders annually = (44million + 41 million)/2 = 42.5 million. The total number of adults that had mental disorders in these 19 years = 19 * average number of men who get affected by mental disorders per year = 19 * 42.5 million = 807.5 million. The percentage of this population that sought mental health services = 44.767% * 807.5 million = 0.44767 * 807.5 million ≅ 361.5 million adults.
The total number of children that had mental disorders in these 19 years = 19 * average number of children who get affected by mental disorders per year = 19 * 13.7 million = 260.3 million. The number of this population that sought mental health services = 260.3 million * 50% = 130.15 million.
Therefore, the total number of people in the US that sought counseling/mental health services between 2010 and 1991 = 130.15 million + 361.5 million = 491.65 million.

Part
03
of three
Part
03

People Seeking Counseling-Present-2050

From the research findings and mental health projection data for the US, it is estimated that the number of people who will seek mental health services in the US by 2050 will increase considerably due to the shortage of mental health professionals and an increasing population of people with mental challenges.

USEFUL FINDINGS

  • Between 2016 and 2030, the number of mental health counselors in the US is estimated to increase by 13%. In spite of this increase, there will still be a supply shortage of at least 6,870 mental health counselors.
  • It is estimated that by 2050, 45.8 million US adults will have depressive mental disorders.
  • Currently, there are over 45 million American adults who suffer from a mental illness, Fifty-seven percent (57%) of whom receive no treatment.
  • Currently, there are over 10 million American adults who have unmet mental health needs; over 70% of youths with major depression are still in need of treatment.
  • Presently, 1 in 5 US adults experience mental illness each year.
  • By 2050, the total number of US adults with depressive disorder is estimated to increase by 35%.
  • As of 2014, the US Department of Health Resources and Services Administration estimated that there were 4,362 designated mental health professional shortage areas throughout the country.
  • The number of older US adults (aged 65 years and older) with mental illness will more than double between 2015 and 2060.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

Throughout this research, your research team found no authoritative and credible estimate, research projection, or predictive model that provided specific information regarding the number of people in the US who will seek mental health services in the US by 2050. Hence, it was not possible to determine exactly how the number is expected to change between now and 2050. However, by leveraging the data points and insights found above, it can be estimated that the number of people who will seek mental health services by 2050 will most likely increase, compared to the current figure. Already, there are over 10 million adults who have unmet mental health needs, over 70% of youths with major depression who still require mental health attention, and as of 2014, there were already 4,362 mental health professional shortage areas nationwide. Considering these and the projection that by 2030, there will be a shortage of at least 6,870 mental health counselors, it is most likely that the number of people who will seek mental health services in the US by 2050 will increase considerably due to the shortage of mental health professionals and an increasing population of people with mental challenges.
Sources
Sources