Mental Health Is Top Resolution For Many In 2023

Mental Health Is Top Resolution For Many In 2023

Forbes Health Survey Findings Revealed

By Sarah Davis

The start of a new year often motivates people to set new health and wellness goals and priorities. But, this year, rather than focusing on traditional resolutions like dieting or frequent exercise, more people are prioritizing the state of their mental health, according to a new survey from Forbes Health/OnePoll  of 1,005 U.S. adults.

The study finds 45% of respondents cite improved mental health as a top resolution for 2023 — the most of any resolution on the survey. That’s in comparison to 39% who cite improved fitness as their resolution, 37% who selected weight loss and 33% who chose improving their diet.

A New Era of Health Care

The Forbes Health/OnePoll survey also shows, notably, that younger generations are more likely to cite mental health as a high priority for the new year — a staggering 50% of participants ages 18 to 25 stated improved mental health as a top resolution for 2023, followed by 49% of those ages 26 to 41 and 39% of 42 to 57-year-olds (that percentage drops to 18% for those 58 to 76). Mental health is undoubtedly important in its own right, but it can also impact physical health, too — for example, depression can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

The findings come on the heels of a particularly tumultuous few years, with a global pandemic impacting nearly every aspect of daily life, resulting in increased levels of anxiety and depression, particularly among young people. Meanwhile, amplified exposure, a rapid increase in accessible care  and reduced stigma are all contributing factors to increased resources for the mental health industry, according to Forbes Health Advisory Board members who weighed in on the survey’s findings.

The Forbes Health/OnePoll findings may also be particularly noteworthy for health care and insurance providers, given that Gen Z is just beginning to turn 26, signaling a time in which many will be navigating the health insurance market for likely the first time as they age out of eligibility for their parents’ health insurance coverage. The focus on mental health could give providers a view into what younger generations may be looking for when it comes to coverage and benefits.

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 requires insurance coverage for mental health conditions (including substance use disorders) be no more restrictive than the coverage that is provided for other conditions, notes the American Psychiatric Association.

Whether that care is available, however, may be another roadblock in the new year. Mental health providers are seeing an overwhelming spike in clients due to the increased demand — in fact, as of November 2022, the demand for anxiety and depression treatment remained high for the third consecutive year, with six in 10 practitioners reporting not having any availability for new clients, according to the American Psychological Association.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its profound impact on anxiety and depression highlighted the importance of mental health—and the Forbes Health survey findings suggest that theme is here to stay.

Sarah Davis, Managing Editor, Forbes Health is an experienced writer and editor enthusiastic about helping readers live their healthiest and happiest lives. Before joining Forbes Health, Sarah worked as a writer for various digital publications including LendingTree, theSkimm, CNBC and Bankrate. When she isn’t writing or editing, you can find Sarah with her nose in a book or enjoying the outdoors with her French bulldog, Honey.