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5 Takeaways: Trends in Women’s Mental Health

December 20, 2022

A large share of women reported needing mental health services during the past two years, but access to care remains a challenge, according to new analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF).

The KFF report, released today, highlights the growing need to support behavioral health services across the U.S. In its analysis, KFF found about 50 percent of women between 18 and 64 reported needing mental health care, but only half were able to obtain appointments.

“The demand for mental health care continues to surge as wait lists for professional help grow,” the KFF analysis concluded. “Recent reports reveal that mental health providers across the nation are facing an overwhelming demand for services, leaving many individuals without care.”

Among the key takeaways:

  • By age:  A significantly higher share of young women (64%) between 18 and 25 reported needing mental health services compared to women between 50 and 65 (35%).
  • Unmet needs:  About 40 percent of women between 18 and 64 who reported needing mental health services did not seek care.
  • Wait times:  About 47 percent of women who needed mental health services and tried to get care were able to secure an appointment within a month. About 24 percent had to wait up to two months, and 13 percent had to wait more than two months.
  • Telehealth:  About 60 percent of women reported having a telehealth visit during the past two years. The top reasons for these visits were routine check-ups (18%), minor illness or injury (18%), and mental health services (17%).
  • Quotable:  “The findings from the 2022 KFF Women’s Health Survey suggest that future policies affecting telehealth, provider availability, health insurance coverage, and affordability will play a significant role in addressing the demand for mental health care,” the report said.

HAP continues to advocate for policies and legislation that will bolster access to behavioral health care in Pennsylvania. Learn more about our behavioral health priorities.

The 2022 KFF Women’s Health Survey was conducted from May 10, 2022, to June 7, 2022 and included a representative sample population. Additional information about the KFF survey is available online.