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Mental Health Survey Finds 18 Percent of Americans Suffer From Mental Illness

The newest mental health data released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration found that nearly 18 percent of Americans suffer from some form of mental illness.

The report shows national estimates of the prevalence of mental health disorders and mental health service use in the past year for youths between the ages of 12 and 17 and adults ages 18 and older.

Some findings from the survey include:

  • An estimated 43.7 million adults — 18.6 percent of adults in this country — suffered from a mental illness in the past year.

  • Women aged 18 or older were more likely than men to have a mental illness in the past year (22.0 vs. 14.9 percent).

  • An estimated 34.1 million adults or 14.5 percent of the population aged 18 or older received mental health services, like treatment or counseling, during the past 12 months. This is higher than in the previous year. (31.6 million people and 13.6 percent).

  • There were 2.2 million youths aged 12 to 17 (9.1 percent) who had a major depressive episode during the past year.

  • Among youths, females were more likely than males to have a major depressive episode in the past year (13.7 vs. 4.7 percent).

  • The most common reason for youths receiving specialty mental health services was feeling depressed (50.7 percent).

Read the full report and learn more at SAMHSA.

Take Care of Your Mental Health

As an annual observance, Mental Health Month brings an increased awareness to mental health issues and mental illness. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says, “This year’s theme, Mental Health Matters: In Your Life, reminds Americans that caring for their mental health is as important as taking care of their physical health because mental health impacts all areas of life.”

Mental health issues can include depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and many other diseases that can negatively impact every part of someone’s life. During this presidentially proclaimed observance, the goal is to reinvigorate the United States’ determination and effort to addressing mental health problems in America.

You can find treatment services near you for a variety of mental health issues by calling 1-800-662-HELP. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers immediate assistance for all Americans, including service members and veterans, at 1-800-273-TALK.

Find a full list of mental health resources.

Anxiety is a common reaction after a tragedy. For help, call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text Text TalkWithUs to 66746.

Get Through the Holiday Blues

The holidays aren’t joyous for everyone. This time of year can bring stress and feelings of loneliness. Exercise, focusing on positive relationships, and doing things that you find rewarding can help with depression. Get tips on what to do if you feel depressed.

Keep in mind that winter depression could be a sign of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which may be caused by the lack of sunlight. Treatment for SAD is much like other forms of depression, but also involves light therapy.

Get more holiday tips.

Recognizing the Importance of Mental Health to our Overall Health

By Colleen Labbe, Senior Science Writer/Editor and Press Officer at the National Institutes of Health

Since 1990, the first full week of October has been designated National Mental Illness Awareness Week. This year, National Mental Illness Awareness Week takes place from October 7-13. It reminds us all that our mental health is vitally important to our overall health.

In the United States, mental disorders are common and do not discriminate. Men, women and children of all walks of life are affected by depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and other serious mental illnesses every year.

The goal of the National Institute of Mental Health, part of the National Institutes of Health, is to transform the understanding and treatment of mental illnesses through basic and clinical research, paving the way for prevention, recovery, and cure.

Learn more about mental disorders and how they can be successfully treated.

If you or someone you know is suffering from a mental illness, find out how you can get help.