Who is Getting Help with Counseling and Who Isn't | Counseling at the Y

Last updated: July 27, 2021, at 9:30 a.m. PT

Originally published: July 27, 2021, at 6:23 a.m. PT

young adult talking to counselor

When it comes to how we experience the world in our day-to-day lives, so much of it is about our mental health. Our mental wellness affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. It is hard to measure and can only be experienced by you, which means it can be difficult to tell if your brain is reacting typically, or if there is something more that may need some help from a professional.

About one in five adults in the U.S. have experienced mental illness, and about one in 20 experience serious mental illness. Since the pandemic, these numbers have only gone up. Mental health is something that affects all of us, but not all of us are getting the help we need.

Mental Health Care is for Everybody!

Some view mental health care or working with a therapist as a luxury or only for acute mental health cases. This is a fallacy which keeps many from getting the help they need and deserve. Just like you go to the doctor to maintain your physical health, working with a therapist helps you to maintain your mental health and improve relationships with yourself and others.

Who is Getting Help and Who Isn’t?

While mental health care is for everyone, many people who need or deserve it are not getting it.

Percentages of demographic groups who access mental health care:

Mental Healthcare Demographic Bar Chart

Male: 36.8%; Female: 49.7%; Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual: 49.2%; Asian: 23.3%; White: 50.3%; Black or African American: 32.9%; Multiracial: 43.0%; Hispanic or Latino: 33.9%

Asian, Black, and Latino people are underrepresented in reaching out for counseling services, especially the men in these groups. The stigma around mental health is a big part of what keeps people away. For many people, mental health services do not feel like an option as they may feel they can manage it themselves or believe they can suffer through as “that is part of life”. The reality is that counseling can change lives and provide individuals with tools that help them live with more ease, have better relationships, and focus on specific mental health goals.

How to Get Started Finding a Counselor

At the Y, we believe all people, no matter age, race, socioeconomic situation, gender, or sexual orientation, deserves access to mental health care to help them reach their full potential. We provide one-on-one counseling in person or virtually, accept most major insurance, and offer financial assistance. Learn more about Counseling Services >

Works Cited “Mental Health By the Numbers.” NAMI, National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2020, www.nami.org/mhstats.