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Saw/talked to mental health professional, past 12 months

Codes and Frequencies

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For sample adults age 18 and older and sample children between the ages of 2 and 17, SAWMENT reports if they received counseling or therapy in the past 12 months from a mental health professional such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, psychiatric nurse, or clinical social worker.

Beginning in 2020, SAWMENT is one of a set of variables covering mental health care. Please see MHRX for information on other mental health care variables.

For 1997-2018, SAWMENT is one of several variables identifying specific types of health care practitioners that respondents had consulted in the previous twelve months. Interviewers began the series of questions by saying, "During the past 12 months, that is, since [12 month reference date], have you seen or talked to any of the following health care providers about your own/[sample child's] health?" Other types of health care practitioners identified in the survey are: "a chiropractor" (SAWCHIR); "an optometrist, optician, or eye doctor (someone who prescribes eye glasses)" (SAWEYEDR); "a foot doctor" (SAWFOOT); "a general doctor who treats a variety of illnesses (a doctor in general practice, family medicine, or internal medicine") (SAWGEN); "a doctor who specializes in women's health (an obstetrician/gynecologist)" (SAWGYN);"a nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or midwife" (SAWRNPA); "a physical therapist, speech therapist, respiratory therapist, audiologist, or occupational therapist" (SAWTHERA); and "a medical doctor who specializes in a particular medical disease or problem (other than obstetrician/gynecologist, psychiatrist, or ophthalmologist)" (SAWSPEC).


This variable is completely comparable over time.


  • 1997-2018: Sample adults age 18+ and sample children age 2 to 17.
  • 2020 2021: Sample adults age 18+ and sample children age 2-17.


  • 1997-2018, 2020-2021