Even before the onset of COVID-19, the U.S. was struggling to effectively diagnose and treat a growing number of mental health issues. The magnitude of the problem has only increased during the pandemic, with more than half a million people reporting signs of anxiety or depression.[1]

Online screening for mental health concerns during this time has become especially important due to a decrease of in-person visits and inadequate access to care for individuals who are underinsured or uninsured. More than 2.6 million mental health screenings were completed in 2020 by Mental Health America (MHA), the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and promoting the overall mental health of all. Their data revealed a 234% increase in anxiety screens and a 185% increase in depression screens over 2019 data. The largest contributing factors were loneliness or isolation, and past trauma.

Mental Health America also found that 73% of those taking screenings were between the ages of 11-24—an age span where many mental health issues begin, but often go unnoticed, are misunderstood, and left untreated.

On top of  MHA’s ten online screening tests, their Screening to Supports (S2S) program provides an interactive online space for individuals to find tools they can use to screen for mental health needs and get connected to support in each of four domains: information and resources (“Learn”); information about and referrals to care, services, and supports (“Treatment and Help”); do-it-yourself tools (“DIY”); and online engagement with peers (“Connect”).[2] In partnership with Mental Health America, Anthem Foundation provided critical funding to support these efforts.

Anthem’s position to support the whole health of individuals and communities is embedded in our values and everything we do. And understanding your own mental health and having a clear picture of where you are in your whole-health journey is essential to all aspects of your health. We work to align efforts with nonprofit partners, providers and community-based organizations to provide integrated care, services and support for those who need them most.

Together, we can empower individuals to gain a better understanding of their mental health in order for them to achieve their optimal health.

[1] Mental Health America. (2020).

[2] Mental Health America. (2020). S2S (Screening to Support).