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Advancing Health Equity

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Mental Health Care Needs in the U.S. and 10 Other High-Income Countries

Findings from the 2020 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey

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Overview

October 10 is World Mental Health Day, an occasion to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilize efforts to improve affordable access to mental health care. The day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on these issues to talk about their work and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for all who need it.

Findings from the 2020 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey, which included the United States and 10 other high-income countries, highlight the need for continued investment in mental health. The following charts show that, across the countries, large shares of people with mental health needs:

  • experience multiple chronic health conditions
  • use multiple prescription medications
  • visit the emergency room for care that could have been provided by a primary care clinician
  • have high rates of cost-related problems accessing care, especially among U.S. Black and Latinx/Hispanic adults.
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About This Survey

  • Twenty-second in the Commonwealth Fund’s series of international health policy surveys.
  • Nationally representative samples of 22,402 adults age 18 and older across 11 countries: Australia (2,201), Canada (4,530), France (3,028), Germany (1,004), Netherlands (753), New Zealand (1,003), Norway (607), Sweden (2,513), Switzerland (2,284), United Kingdom (1,991), United States (2,488).
  • Survey completed online or through computer-assisted landline or mobile phone interviews between February and May 2020.
  • Learn more about the survey here

Publication Details

Date

Contact

Reginald D. Williams II, Vice President, International Health Policy and Practice Innovations, The Commonwealth Fund

[email protected]

Citation

Reginald D. Williams II and Arnav Shah, Mental Health Care Needs in the U.S. and 10 Other High-Income Countries: Findings from the 2020 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey (Commonwealth Fund, Oct. 2021). https://doi.org/10.26099/srrc-sc30