People who attend church were the only group of Americans who didn’t see the state of their mental health decline this year, according to a Gallup Poll.
The share of Americans who classify their mental health as “excellent” has reached an all-time low of 34 percent. The share of Americans who describe their mental health as “excellent/good” also has reached a record low of 76 percent. Nearly every demographic subgroup saw the state of their mental health decrease from 2019 to 2020.
However, among Americans who attend religious services weekly, 46 percent classified their mental health as excellent. That figure is an increase from the 42 percent who saw their mental health as excellent in 2019. Those who attended church services weekly also are the group with the highest share of people who rated their mental health as excellent in 2020. Americans who made more than $100,000 a year came in a close second, with 45 percent describing their mental health as excellent.
In 2019, the share of frequent church attendees who believed that their mental health was excellent actually was identical to the share of Americans who seldom or never attend church services. The only groups where a lower share of respondents said that they had excellent mental health were women, Democrats, non-white Americans, unmarried people, people younger than 50 and those who made less than $40,000 a year.
The increase in the number of religious Americans who identify their mental health as excellent comes as churches across the country have seen their ability to hold in-person worship services hindered by coronavirus restrictions imposed by the governors of their respective states. Religious Americans have seen some victories in recent weeks, with U.S. Supreme Court rulings striking down worship restrictions in New York and California.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice