12 Facts About Mental Health

  1. 20 to 25 percent of Americans have a diagnosable mental and/or substance use disorder in any given year.
  2. Only 40 percent of individuals with mental and/or substance use disorders get treatment. Of those who do, less than one-third get minimally adequate care.
  3. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.
  4. Rising rates of suicide and opioid abuse are driving a shocking increase in the death rate of working age Americans.
  5. 5 to 6 percent of American adults have a serious mental illness; about 2 percent have disorders that are long-term and disabling, contributing to very high rates of unemployment and poor living conditions.
  6. 30 to 40 percent of homeless adults and 15 to 20 percent of people in jails and prisons in the United States have a serious mental illness, often accompanied by a substance abuse problem (in both of these populations).
  7. As many as 10 percent of children have a serious emotional disturbance, contributing to school failure and other serious problems that extend into adulthood.
  8. As the number of older adults doubles over the next two decades, so will the number of elderly people with mental disorders. This includes 5.5 million older adults who currently have Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Without advances in preventative medicine, this number will more than double, rising to 11 million with dementia by 2050.
  9. Data show that massive growth of minority populations is already happening; the U.S. mental health system already has a tremendous shortage of culturally-competent personnel.
  10. Mental and substance use disorders cost hundreds of billions of dollars per year for: (1) treatment of these conditions, (2) treatment of related health conditions, often made more severe, more disabling, and more expensive by behavioral health disorders, (3) government funding of various welfare benefits to support people diagnosed with mental and substance use disorders, (4) criminal justice activities, and (5) lost productivity due to inability to work.
  11. Treatment works. There are effective, evidencebased and state-of-the-art interventions that can improve the quality of life for individuals, no matter their diagnosis.
  12. Funding mental health services and translating research findings into practice is a worthwhile investment that improves the lives of individuals and their families and significantly reduces overall costs to the healthcare system.

Source: Mental Health Association of New York City

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