Poll: Half of Young Adults Choose Improving Mental Health as Top New Year’s Resolution

Half of younger adults — those 18 to 25 — are choosing to improve their mental health as a top New Year’s resolution, a December Forbes Health/OnePoll survey found.

Of the 1,005 U.S. adults surveyed, 45 percent identified improving mental health as one of their goals moving into the new year. Nearly four in ten, 39 percent, identified improved fitness as a goal, followed by one-third who want to improve their dietary habits.

However, the percentage of U.S. adults who want to improve their mental health appears to remain particularly high among the youngest set of adults. Half of those 18 to 25 chose it as a top New Year’s resolution, and just short of half of 26 to 41-year-olds–49 percent–said the same.

Per Forbes:

That’s compared to 33% of 18 to 25 year-olds and 30% of 26 to 41-year olds who listed improved diet as a top goal.

The survey findings suggest a cultural shift in what Americans value when it comes to wellness, pushing back against the idea that health is measured simply by the number on the scale.

The Forbes Health/OnePoll survey findings reflect an ongoing theme of global mental health: it’s getting worse. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported in March 2022 that in the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, global prevalence of anxiety and depression spiked by 25%[1]. Young people, in particular, are at risk. A 2021 meta-analysis in JAMA Pediatrics found that estimates obtained during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic suggest one in four youth globally are experiencing clinically elevated depression symptoms, and one in five are experiencing anxiety symptoms[2].

The decline in mental health coincides with a recent Gallup survey which found Americans’ mental health declining 20 percent in the last 18 years.

As Breitbart News reported:

The Gallup survey, which features self-assessments of 1,020 adults, found just short of one-third, 31 percent, describing their mental health as “excellent.” Gallup describes that as the “worst rating by three percentage points.”

Indeed, in 2020 and 2021, 34 percent identified their mental health as “excellent,” down from 45 percent in 2017. However, 2012 had 48 percent identifying their mental health as “excellent,” and over half, 51 percent, described it as such in 2004.

In other words, there has been a 20-point drop in the last 18 years in terms of Americans who describe their mental health as “excellent.”

The Forbes Health/OnePoll was taken November 18 to November 22 and coincides with a YouGov survey which found 12 percent identifying improving mental health as a top goal.



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