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America’s Mental Health Pulse Survey

Pulse Study Reveals Impact of Pandemic

The America’s Mental Health Pulse Study, released on April 3, 2020, looked at the mental health of Americans during the pandemic. With 90% of the U.S. population under some form of stay at home order, and social distancing in place until at least April 30, the situation is beginning to impact the mental health of many Americans.

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CVN released specific data on April 27 from post-9/11 veterans, active-duty military and their families.  Among the key findings:

– While 14% of the general population sought mental health care during COVID-19, 50% + sought mental health care in the military-connected community.

– Nearly seven in ten veterans who served after 9/11 say they are concerned about their mental health because of social distancing and 6 in ten said they were concerned about their employment status. 

– Four in ten veterans said they were very concerned about their mental health, almost double the number of non-veterans.

– Veterans who served after 9/11 are much more aware of the different telehealth mental healthcare services available to them and nearly 5x as likely to have used them compared to non-veterans.

– Compared to non-veterans, those who served after 9/11 are somewhat more likely to report stigmas around mental health issues.  Approximately 1-in-4 disagree with statements such as anyone can have a mental health issue, that people shouldn’t feel embarrassed about seeking mental health services, that they would not view someone differently if they were told they have a mental health issue, and that people with mental health issues can live normal lives.

Overall, the survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults offers a comprehensive snapshot of the mindset of Americans surrounding mental health during the pandemic. Key findings included:

– 70% of Americans are worried about their physical health due to COVID-19, and 58% of Americans are concerned about their mental health because of social distancing

– Two-thirds (64%) of Americans report feeling anxious, yet only one in six (14%) households have accessed mental health care as a result of the pandemic

Eight in ten (81%) report feeling the pandemic will have a negative impact on the mental health of Americans

Press Release | Infographic

Media Highlights

– Stars & Stripes: During Pandemic, Military Community Seeks More Mental Health Care than other Americans, Survey Finds

– Empire Report (New York, NY): Too Late: We Can’t Be Too Late in Improving Our Mental Health System in the Wake of COVID-19

– PIX 11 (New York, NY): Doctor Shares Mental Health Tips, Resources Amid COVID-19 Crisis

– Cheatham County Exchange (Clarksville, TN): Virus Can Add Strain to Mental Health

– Yahoo Finance: 58% Concerned Social Distancing May Impact Their Mental Health

– WTSP Channel 10 (Tampa, FL): Finding Care in Crisis

– WMAR2 News (Baltimore, MD): Midday Maryland – Telehealth Services

– Why You Also Need To Practice Emotional Distancing With Negative Loved Ones To Survive This Pandemic

About the Study

America’s Mental Health COVID-19 Pulse Study was conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Cohen Veterans Network and included 2,026 American adults aged 18 or older who participated in an online survey between March 30 – April 1, 2020.  Results were weighted to Census targets for education, age/gender, race/ethnicity, region, household income, and propensity to be online were adjusted where necessary to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the population.

The pulse study comes as a followup to the 2018 America’s Mental Health Study done in collaboration between CVN and the National Council on Behavioral Health. That study revealed American mental health services are insufficient, and despite high demand, the root of the problem is lack of access – or the ability to find care.


– National Veterans Crisis Hotline: (800) 273-8255, push 1

– National Women Veterans Hotline: (855) 829-6636

– National Domestic Violence: (800) 799-SAFE (7233)

– SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline