mental health trends 2022

The Future of Behavioral Health Treatment: What Mental Health Trends From 2022 Will Continue To 2023

Every year we see new trends emerge. Some are fleeting. Some are here to stay.

Either way, you don’t want to be the only one not part of the conversation. Not only could you miss out on new opportunities but it can also make your organization seem outdated.

By looking at mental health trends from 2022 we can better understand the state of the behavioral health treatment industry and where it’s going in 2023.

Mental Health Trends We Saw In 2022

There have been many mental health trends in 2022 that were direct reactions to the covid-19 pandemic. Whether you agree with them or not, some were highly successful while others were concerning. 

Embracing Technology

telehealth mental health trend 2022

During the Covid-19 pandemic healthcare professionals had to shift to telehealth to continue treating patients while following social distancing guidelines. We then began to see the benefits of telehealth and improvement in access to care and continued to use it even after the regulations were lifted.

Another practice that was adopted was the use of EHR. Healthcare professionals were not able to track the people they serve and their data better making better treatment decisions.

Additionally, people are turning to apps and other technology for mental health treatment such as meditation apps for anxiety or patient portals to talk to therapists about depression.

BIPOC Mental Health Gap Grew

While technology has allowed more people to access treatment despite location, there was still a rise in health disparities and a decline in resources.

Many BIPOC individuals still receive poor-quality care and are less likely to have access to treatment compared to white individuals. Additionally, many BIPOCs despite experiencing anxiety or depression did not have the desire to seek treatment.

This is because they have experienced systemic racism in the behavioral health industry for decades and lack trust in providers.

Shift To Value-Based Care

Many treatment centers began to shift to value-based care practices in 2022 resulting in better care and satisfaction rates.

As payers continue to look for measurable results, providers need to learn how to combine their new value-based care practices with measurement-based care.

Some organizations that work with complex cases struggled to implement these practices.

Focus On Employee Well-Being And Burnout

Employee burnout rates across all industries rose and organizations started to take notice. “The Great Resignation” and “Quite Quitting” are terms that only highlighted a problem that had been under the surface since the pandemic began.

Afraid of losing the entire workforce, organizations began to put more of a focus on their employee’s mental health to reinforce a healthy culture.

Workforce turnover due to burnout in the behavioral health industry was particularly high with employees experiencing low job satisfaction, poor management, and poor organizational communication.

Trauma Enforced Care Rose

According to studies about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES), 61% of adults have experienced some form of traumatic experience in their lifetime.

As behavioral healthcare professionals began to see the value in a holistic approach they began looking at the many factors that lead to health concerns.

Use Of Blood Tests For Mental Illness

Research was conducted indicating that blood testing can identify RNA biomarkers for mood disorders or high levels of stress. These tests can inform providers on the severity of the disorder or the risk of developing one in the future.

Implementation of Artificial Intelligence

For years we’ve been using AI for manual labor like automated production lines but in 2022, we also saw an increase in usage in other industries. AI-powered automated workflows made processes more efficient and cost-effective for all types of organizations.

Not only that but it began to be used to notice things that the average eye may not notice. Whether that is tracking irregular data variations or monitoring the behavior and movement of the people you serve.

For example, AI sensors were able to identify anxiety based on exhibited symptoms like hand tapping, nail-biting, or jittery movement.

Rise In Psychedelics

While Indigenous cultures have been using psychedelics for medical and religious purposes for centuries, as more research is conducted into the benefits of psychedelics mainstream acceptance has risen. Trials were conducted with low doses of psychedelics in controlled settings to treat PTSD and help with breakthroughs.

Substances like MDMA, LSD, psilocybin, and ketamine are being tested for anxiety, depression, and other behavioral disorders. Even the Drug Enforcement Administration (FDA) authorized an increase in the production of psychedelics.

Despite this increase in research, we are still years away from psychedelic therapy being offered by your local therapist.

Mental Health Trends We Will See In 2023

Learning from mistakes and successes of mental health trends in 2022, many behavioral health organizations will be making shifts in their processes. In turn, we will be seeing new trends emerge while other trends from 2022 will be here to stay.

Successful Use of Technology

As the reliance on technology increases, organizations are learning best practices to improve the efficiency of their workflows. Behavioral health businesses are learning how to get the most out of their software, automating more processes.

Additionally, technology is now being used to monitor individuals to diagnose and treat mental health.

Companies Adopting Mental Health Programs

Preventive measures will be developed to care for employee mental health. From providing accommodations and resources to support employee well-being and create a healthy culture.

This will lead to management seeing an improvement in employee satisfaction, retention, and efficiency.

Reduction in Stigma

The younger generations are much more open with their mental health struggles than those before them.

Stigma was one of the greatest barriers to mental health treatment. With more people educated on the realities of mental health disorders, we will begin seeing more people seeking help.

Increase in Access

In 2023, we will see more successful implementations of technology in the behavioral health sector. This will help to decrease financial barriers to access because people will no longer have to miss work or pay for transportation and child care.

Additionally, with improvements in efficiency in organizations’ processes, they can afford to lower the costs of treatment.

Improving employee burnout and turnover rate will also help improve access, reducing staff shortage. Finally, by closing the BIPOC mental health gap through staff education and systemic changes we can increase access to an entire segment that had felt alienated.

Crackdown On Compliance

With the increase in the use of EHR, telehealth, and AI there is more scrutiny than ever on the handling of data. Complying with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability ACT (HIPPA) is crucial to the success of your organization.

Federal and public organizations are conducting investigations into behavioral health organizations tracking and sharing data with tech firms.

Psychedelics Get Approved

The legalization of psychedelics is going into effect in the first U.S. state in 2023. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies completed phase 3 of its trial on MDMA in 2022 and expects the FDA to approve usage this year.

One FDA approval can be the stepping stone needed to approve other psychedelic treatments.

Additionally, further research into psilocybin for treating alcohol use disorder (AUD) is being conducted so conversation around psilocybin-assisted treatment will be on the rise.

Artificial Intelligence Takes Over

Since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medical artificial intelligence (AI) tools and devices at the end of last year, we will be seeing an increase in AI usage.

We will see an increase in reliance on AI for patient engagement and monitoring, revenue cycle management, as well decision support.

Stay Up To Date On The Latest Mental Health Trends With C4

When you’re not in the know of the latest trends you risk falling behind your competition. Even if you have heard of these mental health trends in 2022, do you have an action plan to incorporate them into your organization?

We know what you must be thinking, don’t you have enough to worry about and keep up with already? You’re right. That’s why you hire a third party to consult you on the latest trends.

Our C4 Behavioral Health Consultants can identify new opportunities for your organization as well as caution you on trends that aren’t worth the hype. Request a free consultation to see how we can help your organization!