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Latter-day Saint Teens & Young Adults More Likely to Get Mental Health Help, Study Finds

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In a new study from Springtide Research Institute, researchers found Latter-day Saint teens and young adults have a higher engagement with mental health resources and adults who care.

Of the 4,038 American youth surveyed, ages 13 to 25, 163 identified as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Nearly half of the Latter-day Saint respondents (47%) had worked with a mental health professional while the average for their peers is 41%. A greater leap—43% said they had been medicated or hospitalized for mental health issues. Just 28% of the other respondents had.

This doesn’t mean Latter-day Saints have a higher rate of mental health issues. It means they are more likely to get the help they need. There are a few reasons for this, the study finds. Latter-day Saints are more likely to have higher socioeconomic statuses, allowing them to pay for treatments or live in areas more likely to have resources available. Approximately 80% of the young Latter-day Saints had talked with a mental health professional in the past three months compared to the just 47% of their peers.

Another positive? Eighty percent of Latter-day Saints surveyed talked with “some trusted adult OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL, like a relative, faith/spiritual leader, etc. in the last three months for help with emotional challenges/problems.” Only 53% of the other respondents did the same. Multiple factors in the study found Latter-day Saint young people are more likely to seek out trusted adults, include those in and out of their belief system.

However, there were a few points of concern. Latter-day Saint teens and young adults didn’t see their parents as supportive of mental health treatment. When answering the question “My parents/guardians do not take my mental health concerns seriously,” 63% of Latter-day Saints said yes. That’s a 20-point gap between the 44% of their peers who said yes. Latter-day Saints also don’t want their parents to know about their challenges, with 61% reporting that feeling compared to 47% of others.

Kevin Singer, head of media and public relations for Springtime Research Institute, said the results were significant.

“Somewhere, young Mormons are finding an opportunity to trust adults in their lives with mental health problems,” he said. “Maybe it’s a youth group leader; maybe they are finding safe adults at church. But it’s not necessarily the parents. Maybe it’s that LDS parents just traditionally have high standards for what level of mental health their community is supposed to exhibit.”

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Aleah Ingram
Aleah Ingram
Aleah is a graduate of Southern Virginia University, where she studied English, Creative Writing, and Dance. She now works full time as a marketing and product manager, writer, and editor. Aleah served a mission in California and loves baking, Lang Leav poetry, Gaynor Minden pointe shoes, and Bollywood movies.

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