Explore Your Mental Health with the All of Us Research Program


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One in four U.S. adults were living with a mental health condition as of last year — that’s nearly 60 million people, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 

Many questions remain about the rise of mental health issues.  

That’s why the National Institutes of Health’s All of Us Research Program has taken a special interest in mental health. 

As part of the program’s mission to collect the health data of over 1 million Americans, the All of Us Research Program is learning more about the mental health backgrounds of participants, which could advance mental health research.  

When signing up for the program, participants fill out mental health surveys.  

Through these surveys researchers can study early mental illness risk factors, prevention strategies, the role of technology can play in mental health, and treatment response.  

Let’s break down some of the program’s findings, what they mean for the future of mental health research, and how participation in the All of Us Research Program can benefit your mental health.  

All of Us Findings on Mental Health 

After analyzing the surveys, the program found that more than 185,000 participants have been diagnosed with a mental health condition at some point in their lives, according to a recent news release. 

Of the participants who reported having a mental health condition, 117,000 of them were diagnosed with mood disorders, such as depression or bipolar disorder, while 112,000 were diagnosed with anxiety disorders.  

The data collected from electronic health records and surveys also revealed that 46,000 participants were diagnosed with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  

43,000 participants state they have been diagnosed with a substance use disorder, 25,000 have experience with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and 6,500 participants have been diagnosed with schizophrenia.  

At 125,000, more than half the participants who reported dealing with mental health conditions have more than one.  

Having more than one mental health condition is becoming more common, according to the University of Colorado Boulder 

University researchers say that over half of those diagnosed with one disorder will go on to be diagnosed with a second or third within their lifetime. A third have four or more disorders. 

Mental Healthcare 

While many participants have experienced mental illness, not all of them have access to mental healthcare to manage the symptoms of the illness.  

When All of Us asked participants if they had seen a mental health professional recently, one in 12 said they couldn’t afford to see one. 

Where you live can also impact your access to mental healthcare, especially individuals from racial and ethnic communities, such as Latinos, and those living with low income or located in rural areas.  

“While mental health conditions are common, each of us has characteristics and features that not only influence our risk of developing them, but also our means of coping with them. These include the stresses we face in our day-to-day lives, variations in our DNA, our family histories, environmental exposures, and even stress from our financial situations,” said Dr. Geoffrey Ginsburg, chief medical and scientific officer of the All of Us Research Program. 

The All of Us Research Program explores all these factors, and more, giving researchers valuable insight into the social determinants of health in relation to mental healthcare. 

Impact of All of Us on Mental Health Research 

As of May 2024, All of Us data is being used on 400 research projects focused on a range of mental health topics.  

One of the research topics is being done by Dr. Normarie Torres-Blasco. 

Torres-Blasco is currently studying the relationship between mental health conditions and chronic illness in the Latino community.

So far, over 30 research papers have been published on mental health using All of Us data.  

Researchers using All of Us data explored the mental health impacts of people who were blind or had low vision and found that during the pandemic, anxiety and depression were more common among those with vision impairments than those without.  

Find vision impairment and mental health resources for those with vision impairment by visiting the National Eye Institute (NEI) website 

All of Us data has also been used for one of the “first and largest” studies involving lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) cancer survivors. 

Researchers found that LGB cancer survivors have a lower quality of life compared to a comparable group of heterosexual cancer survivors, prompting the need for more support for LGB cancer patients.  

Other research efforts examined the types of social support that have the greatest impact on mental health.  

The research concluded that emotional support and positive social interactions were more helpful compared to tangible support, but a combination of all three were helpful when combating depression.  

Explore Your Mental Health with All of Us 

The All of Us Research Program is constantly finding new ways for researchers and participants to make discoveries about mental health.  

Following the participation of 100,000 users for the COVID-19 Participant Experience (COPE) survey, the program launched two new surveys in 2023 geared toward gathering data about emotional health and well-being and behavioral health and personality.  

Not only are these results used to help inform mental health research, but they can also help participants learn more about their own mental health journeys and compare them to others.  

In addition to the new surveys, All of Us has interactive game-based activities, known as Exploring the Mind 

These online games measure abilities like attention span, decision-making, and emotion recognition — you never know what your results may say about you. 

“Not only does the data from these game-like assessments help inform mental health research specifically, but also offers a broader use,” said Garriock. “When combined with the additional data donated by thousands of diverse participants, such as survey responses on discrimination, loneliness, and other social determinants of health, genomics, and electronic health record information, the result is a dataset that becomes a new gold standard for including behavioral data in health research.” 




Find out about more benefits offered by the All of Us Research Program, including free genetic ancestry reports and individualized DNA reports, by joining us for our live webinar on Thursday, June 20, 2024. 


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