Initial Mental Health Research Findings

Ben Erez

A couple months ago I asked people to take a mental health survey as part of a deep dive for my new project. The responses were extremely interesting so I’d love to share a rundown with you. Thanks to everyone who responded 🙏.

I’ll be starting a new survey in the coming weeks, this time helping inform my initial positioning for the service as well as making some key directional decisions for the pricing model.

Demographics for the 22 respondents

  • 19 between 18–35 years old with the rest older than 36.
  • 16 male, 6 female
  • 17 white, 2 Asian, 1 black, 1 native Hawaiian, 1 mixed
  • 8 in California, 8 in Florida, the rest between Georgia, DC, NYC, Ohio, and Wisconsin
  • 12 in a relationship, 6 single, 2 married, 2 divorced

tl;dr

Although the meat and potatoes are in the post below, I want to keep the key takeaways easily digestible (those who want to dive deeper, I highly recommend reading through).

  • Vast majority of respondents are extremely interested in improving their mental health but don’t feel that current mental health solutions fit their needs well
  • Although extremely interested in improving their mental health, respondents seemed much less interested in therapy/counseling in specific
  • Majority of respondents associate mental health improvement more with a gym than a hospital
  • Vast majority of respondents have a friend or coworker who is open about their mental health
  • All but one respondent have been depressed themselves or know someone who expressed being depressed. Same goes for being loney.
  • The vast majority of respondents have either been suicidal or known someone who expressed being suicidal *this one surprised me
  • All but three respondents have felt like they or someone they know couldn’t find someone to talk to when needed
  • All but three respondents believe there is a negative stigma around focusing on their mental health
  • Only a handful of respondents have called a crisis/suicide hotline or know someone who has
  • Only two respondents believe that those who need mental health help urgently will actually call a hotline
  • The vast majority of respondents don’t follow any media that focuses on mental health even though they’ve self-reported as being very interested in improving their mental health

Experience with Therapy/Counseling

~64% of respondents have participated in some type of therapy/counseling/coaching
~73% of those who participated in therapy/counseling/coaching knew what they wanted to talk about prior
50% of respondents report extremely low or high levels or experience with therapy/counseling
responses from those who reported higher levels of experience with therapy/conseling
responses from those who reported extremely low levels of experience with therapy/counseling

Attitudes towards mental health today

~50% of respondents gave a 5 out of 10 when asked how well current mental health solutions fit their needs
~46% of respondents gave a 10 out of 10 when asked how interested they are in improving their mental health
Additional color for their response to “how interested are you today in improving your mental health?”
Although extremely interested in improving their mental health, respondents seemed much less interested in therapy/counseling in specific
Additional color for their response to “how interested are you specifically in therapy or counseling?”
When asked whether a hospital or gym is more closely associated with improving mental health, ~54% responded that it’s more akin to a gym

Finding someone to talk to

Google, friends and insurance co’s stand out as most common ways respondents would find someone to talk to

Social Circles and Stigma around mental health

~86% of respondents have a friend or coworker who is open about their mental health focus
~95% of respondents have been depressed or know someone who has been depressed
~91% of respondents have been lonely or know someone who has expressed being lonely
~77% of respondents have been suicidal or know someone who expressed being suicidal
~86% of respondents have felt like they or someone they know couldn’t find someone to talk to
~41% of respondents would not know where to send someone they care about if they really needed someone to talk to
~86% of respondents believe there is a negative stigma around focusing on their mental health
~73% of respondents don’t follow any media that focuses on mental health (interesting since most respondents self-reported as being very interested in improving their mental health)

Crisis hotlines

Only ~23% of respondents have called a crisis/suicide hotline or know someone who has
Only ~9% of respondents believe that those who need mental health help urgently will actually call a hotline

Interested in supporting my project or staying in the loop? Feel free to tweet at me or DM me on Twitter. If you think others would benefit from reading this, please share with them and/or clap for this story. Thanks for reading!

Ben Erez

Written by

Ben Erez

Product Manager @Abstract (goabstract.com)

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