Mental Health Awareness Month: Facts and Statistics

Broad Prevalence

  • 1 in 5 adults experiences a mental health disorder in a given year—43.8 million in the US, which means all our lives are touched by mental illness. If it’s not you, then it’s a friend, it’s a family member. 
  • Over 1 million Americans died in the last 10 years from alcohol, drugs and suicide. That’s one person gone, every four minutes, in 2015 alone. 
  • In 2016 there were more than twice as many suicides as there were homicides—44,965 deaths by suicide versus 19,362 murders.
  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.

Youth and Mental Health

  • Youth experience mental health conditions at roughly the same rate as adults: 1 in 5
  • 50% of all lifetime cases of mental health disorders appear by age 14, and 75% appear by the age of 24.
  • After the onset of symptoms of a mental health condition in youths, intervention usually follows only after a delay of 8-10 years, in which time the condition may interfere with important developmental needs, resulting in greater challenges later in life. 
  • Approximately 37% of youths with mental health conditions drop out of school before the age of 14. 
  • 70% of youth in the juvenile justice system have a diagnosable mental illness. 
  • Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in the use for ages 10 to 24. 
  • In a five year period, the rate of youths with severe depression has risen from 5.9%-8.2%.

Addiction

  • More than 10 million adults live with cooccurring mental health and addiction disorders. 
  • More than 64,000 Americans died of overdoses in 2016—nearly double the number as compared to a decade ago. 
  • Approximately 88,000 alcohol-related deaths occur annually.

LGBTQ

  • LGBTQ people are twice, or more than twice, as likely to experience a mental health condition.
  • LGBTQ youths are 2-3 times as likely to attempt suicide.
  • 11% of LGBTQ people report having been denied mental health services due to bias and discrimination.

Mental Health Multicultural

  • Mental health affects all races, but touches specific racial/ethnic groups to different degrees of severity due to social, economic, and cultural factors.
    •  The highest estimates of past year mental health service use were for adults reporting two or more races (17.1 percent), white adults (16.6 percent), and American Indian or Alaska Native adults (15.6 percent), followed by black (8.6 percent), Hispanic (7.3 percent), and Asian (4.9 percent) adults.
    • Condensed: African American and Hispanic Americans use mental health services at about half the rate of white Americans, and Asian Americans at about 1/3 the rate.
    • For all races/ethnic groups, the most commonly cited reason for not receiving treatment was cost of services/lack of insurance coverage.

On Treatment and Recovery

  • The best treatments for serious mental illnesses today are highly effective; between 70% to 90% of individuals have significant reduction of symptoms and improved quality of life with a combination of pharmacological and psychosocial treatments and supports. 
  • About 60% of adults living with a mental illness did not receive the treatment they needed in the last year, and 1 in 5 reported an unmet need. 
    • There is a shortage of mental healthcare professionals—up to 6 times the patients per every 1 professional when psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, counselors, and psychiatric nurses are counted combined.
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