Report: 20% Of US Adults May Suffer From Mental Illness Each Year.

Love epidemiology… the figures are amazing, we hopefully can reinvigorate our dedication to adequate treatment services in this country..

The Washington Post (1/19, Brown) reports, “About 20 percent of American adults suffer some sort of mental illness each year, and about five percent experience a serious disorder that disrupts work, family or social life, according to a government report released Thursday” by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). “The annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health sketches a now-familiar picture of a country where mental illness is common and the demand for treatment high.” For example, “mental illness is most prevalent in women, young adults, the unemployed and people with low incomes.”
USA Today (1/19, Lloyd) points out, “A majority of Americans with mental disorders did not receive professional help in 2010,” according to the SAMHSA report. “Although about 20% of American adults (45.9 million) reported any mental illness in 2010, only 39.2% of that group said they got treatment,” the report found. The article also pointed out that a recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “also showed how few people are seeing professionals for help: Less than one-third of Americans taking one antidepressant and less than one-half of those taking multiple antidepressants have seen a mental health professional in the past year.”
WebMD (1/19, McMillen) explains, “The number of adults who contemplated or attempted suicide was also tallied. According to the report, 8.7 million Americans seriously considered suicide, and 2.5 million of them made plans to kill themselves,” and approximately “one million adults attempted it.” What’s more, the report found that “adults who had a diagnosable mental disorder were about twice as likely to abuse illicit drugs, such as cocaine, hallucinogens, inhalants, and heroin. Binge drinking, alcohol abuse, and smoking were also significantly higher among adults who had a mental illness,” the report found. Reuters (1/19, Nichols) also covers the story.