25% of Americans to need behavioral health treatment by 2026: 13 report takeaways

Based on demand for behavioral healthcare in 2022, an estimated 25.2 percent of Americans, or 84 million individuals, will require behavioral health services in 2026.

That represents an increase of 1.2 percent compared to predictions based on 2021 demand, according to the "Trends Shaping the Health Economy: Behavioral Health" report, published March 8 by healthcare market intelligence firm Trilliant Health.

Here are 12 more of the report's findings:

1. The second quarter of 2022 saw an 18.1 percent increase in behavioral health-related medical visits compared to pre-pandemic levels.

2. Since 2019, visits for eating disorders have increased by 52.6 percent, by 47.9 percent for anxiety, by 27.4 percent for substance use disorders, by 24.4 percent for depression and by 12.2 percent for bipolar disorder. 

3. Of all patients who went to the emergency department for depression or anxiety-related treatment, 49.9 percent did not receive follow-up care within 60 days. 

4. For those who visited for substance use disorder treatment, 84 percent did not receive follow-up care in the same time period. Of those patients, 9.5 percent had a return visit within 30 days.

5. Mental health-related prescriptions made up 21.5 percent of all prescribed drugs in 2021.

6. Prescription treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder among patients ages 22 to 44 increased 58.2 percent from the first quarter of 2018 to the second quarter of 2022.

7. In 2021, 66 percent of patients with a diagnosed mental health condition saw a provider five or fewer times that year. 

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