From 2014 to 2018, the number of California adults who reported that they had experienced serious psychological distress in any given year increased by 42%, according to a UCLA Center for Health Policy Research policy brief published today.
The finding is based on research in the California Health Interview Survey, which each year gathers data from more than 20,000 respondents. Based on the surveys, UCLA researchers project that nearly 2.2 million Californians experienced serious psychological distress in 2014, and that the figure steadily increased through 2018, when, according to their projections, 3.2 million experienced such issues.
The report defined serious psychological distress as symptoms that interfere with social, educational and occupational functioning and that require mental health treatment.
The number of young adults (ages 18 to 24) reporting serious distress increased 103.5% from 2014 to 2018, the largest increase among any age group in the study. The report