Table of contents


9 min read

Mental health treatment statistics

Written by Klarity Editorial Team

Published: Apr 29, 2024

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Zoe Russell

Table of contents

In this article, we explore the percentages of Americans who actively seek mental health care, including how many people take prescription medications and how many have consulted mental health professionals for treatment. 

We also break down the demographics of mental health treatment, examine who is more likely to seek care, and what differences there are among gender, age, race, and those living in urban versus rural settings. 

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Treatment percentages

In 2020, the landscape of mental health treatment in the U.S. reflected significant engagement among adults, with a high percentage seeking help through various forms of treatment. Of course, some of this rise can be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it still highlights the need for proactive and accessible mental health treatment.

Below, we cover the specifics of how many Americans are actively pursuing mental health care, the prevalence of psychiatric medication use, and the frequency of consultations with mental health professionals.

How many Americans seek mental health treatment?

Data from 2020 revealed that 20.3% of U.S. adults received some form of mental health treatment in the preceding 12 months.¹ This encompasses any treatment modalities, including prescription medications, psychotherapy, behavioral therapy, or a combination of these treatments.

How many Americans take psychiatric prescriptions?

Among Americans who sought out mental health treatment, 16.5% of adults have taken prescription medication for their mental health.¹ This figure highlights the role of psychiatric medications as a prevalent tool among mental health care options available to the American adult population.

How many Americans have seen a mental health professional?

The same data showed that 10.1% of adults received counseling or therapy from a mental health professional over the past year.¹ This engagement showcases a conscious choice to prioritize mental well-being, reflecting a broader recognition of the importance of professional mental health care in society. 

However, it also shows that a wider segment of the population is addressing mental health needs through various means, even though only a smaller percentage opts for direct professional counseling or therapy compared to those who seek mental health treatment and those who take psychiatric prescriptions.

Treatment demographics

Exploring the demographics of mental health treatment provides insightful revelations about who is more likely to engage with mental health services. This section delves into the distinctions based on gender, age, race, and the urban-rural divide to shed light on the diverse landscape of mental health treatment across various populations in the U.S.

Are men or women more likely to seek mental health treatment?

Women are significantly more likely than men to engage in mental health treatment, with 25.6% of women receiving any treatment compared to 14.6% of men.¹ This includes higher rates of both medication usage and counseling or therapy sessions, with 21.2% taking medication and 12.1% engaging in counseling or therapy.¹

Comparatively, 11.5% of men used prescription medication, and 7.9% attended counseling or therapy sessions.¹ These figures highlight a significant gender disparity in the approach to mental health care, with women being more proactive or having greater access to both pharmacological and therapeutic interventions.

What age group is most likely to seek mental health treatment?

The data indicates that adults aged 18 to 44 are slightly more inclined to seek mental health treatment (20.9%) compared to those aged 45 to 64 (20.5%) and those 65 and over (18.7%).¹ However, the likelihood of taking medication increases with age.

Notably, adults aged 45 to 64 and those 65 and over report higher rates of medication usage for mental health, with 17.7% and 17.3%, respectively.¹ In contrast, younger adults, those aged 18 to 44, show a lower percentage at 15.4%, suggesting different patterns of treatment variations in mental health conditions prevalent among these age groups.¹

Additionally, in a survey of more than 28,000 LGBTQ young people ages 13 to 24 across the United States, 81% of all LGBTQ young people wanted mental health care.² However, 56% of LGBTQ young people who wanted mental health care in the past year were not able to get it.² That means only 44% of all LGBTQ young people wanted and received mental health care.² 

What race is most likely to seek mental health treatment?

Non-Hispanic white adults report the highest rates of mental health treatment (24.4%), contrasting with lower rates among non-Hispanic black adults (15.3%), Hispanic adults (12.6%), and non-Hispanic Asian adults (7.7%).¹

Additionally, non-Hispanic white adults exhibit the highest likelihood of engaging with mental health services, both in terms of medication usage (20.6%) and counseling or therapy sessions (11.2%).¹ Conversely, non-Hispanic Asian adults show the lowest engagement, with only 5.4% taking mental health medications and 4.8% receiving counseling or therapy. 

Is mental health treatment more likely in urban or rural areas?

Interestingly, the percentage of adults receiving any mental health treatment was found to be higher in nonmetropolitan (rural) areas (21.7%) compared to large metropolitan (urban) areas (19.3%),¹ suggesting varying access or attitudes toward mental health care across different urbanization levels.

While the use of medication for mental health increases in more rural settings, rising from 14.8% in large metropolitan areas to 19.7% in nonmetropolitan areas, the opposite trend is observed for counseling or therapy.¹  The percentage of adults receiving these services decreases with greater rurality, dropping from 10.9% in urban centers to 7.6% in rural locations.¹ 

Get the mental health treatment you need from Klarity

Embrace the opportunity for mental health transformation with the board-certified and licensed providers on Klarity, offering in-person and online support. You can pick your own provider on Klarity after reviewing their skills, pricing, and background. This ensures personalized care that resonates with your unique mental health needs, whether it be for anxiety, depression, insomnia, ADHD, OCD, or another mental health condition.

Find a provider on Klarity today and get the mental health treatment you need to improve your daily life.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Mental Health Treatment Among Adults: United States, 2020.” Emily P. Terlizzi, M.P.H., and Tina Norris, Ph.D. Oct. 2021.
  1. The Trevor Project. “2023 U.S. National Survey on the Mental Health of LGBTQ Young People.”

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