Learn more about counselors and the communities they serve. 

Counseling Workforce

  • Licensed professional counselors are the second largest group in the behavioral health workforce after licensed clinical social workers (Source: U.S. Government Accountability Office)
  • Documented workforce challenges contribute to barriers in access to care and nearly half of the US population – 47% or 158 million people – living in a mental health workforce shortage area. (Source: Kaiser Family Foundation)
  • Diversity of today’s mental health counselor workforce: 82% white; 15% Black; 11% Hispanic; 1% Asian. Diversity of the U.S. population: 60% white; 14% Black; 19% Hispanic; 6% Asian. (Source: National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation)
  • Counselors consistently identify low salaries (8.5% below national average) and high student loan debt (nearly 113% higher than national average) as significant challenges. (Source: ACA 2024 Counseling Workforce Survey)
  • Lack of clarity surrounding counselor identity and complex licensure processes lead to 57% of those earning masters’ degrees in mental health never becoming licensed. (Source: ACA 2024 Counseling Workforce Survey)

Mental Health in the U.S.

  • Ninety percent (90%) of people in the U.S. believe the nation is in the midst of a mental health crisis. (Source: Kaiser Family Foundation/CNN)
  • One-third (34%) of adults under 30 rate their mental health as “only fair” or “poor” compared to 19% of people over 30. (Source: Kaiser Family Foundation/CNN)
  • More than half (51%) of adults say their families have experienced a serious mental health crisis. (Source: Kaiser Family Foundation/CNN)
  • In addition to younger adults, lower-income adults (31%); those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (36%); and those in fair or poor physical health (48%) are more likely than their counterparts to rate their own mental health negatively. (Source: Kaiser Family Foundation/CNN)
  • Behavioral health conditions (i.e. mental health and substance use disorders) are most prevalent in Medicaid enrollees, with data from 2020 showing that approximately 39% of Medicaid enrollees were living with a mental health or substance use disorder. (Source: Kaiser Family Foundation/CNN)
  • Twenty-seven percent of people do not know who to call or how to seek help in a mental health crisis. (Source: Kaiser Family Foundation/CNN)

Mental Health in U.S. Children & Adolescents

  • Mental health counseling, medication, or both are frontline treatments for common mental health disorders in school-aged children, such as attention disorders, anxiety and other behavioral health conditions. (Source: National Center for Health Statistics)
  • Data showed that in 2021:
    • Nearly 19% of children aged 12-17 received mental health treatment — including receiving counseling/therapy and/or taking prescription medication in the past 12 months.  Roughly 11% of children aged 5-11 received mental health treatment in the same time frame. (Source:  National Center for Health Statistics)
    • 9% of boys vs. 7.3% of girls were reported to have taken medication for their mental health.  (Source:  CNN Health)
    • 18.3% of white children received mental health treatments, compared with 12.5% of Black children, 10.3% of Hispanic children and 4.4% of Asian children. (Source:  CNN Health)
    • 19.1% of children in non-metropolitan areas had received mental health treatments, compared with 14% in large metropolitan areas and 14.9% in medium or small metropolitan areas. (Source:  CNN Health)
  • The overall proportion of office visits [of US children] with an anxiety disorder diagnosis significantly increased from 1.4% in 2006 – 2009 to 4.2% in 2014 – 2018. (Source:  American Academy of Pediatrics)