An Estimated 1 in 5 Americans Suffer From Mental Health Conditions or Substance Abuse Disorders
According to a new government study, nearly 1 in 5 adult Americans suffer from a mental health condition or substance abuse disorder each year. Using data from 2012-2014 surveys examined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found that the state of Oregon has the highest rate, while New Jersey is the lowest.
In total, nearly 44 million individuals in the U.S. aged 18 or older had diagnosable behavioral, emotional, or mental disorders. The overall national rate of mental illness was around 18%.
Kana Enomoto, SAMHSA acting deputy assistant secretary, from an agency news release:
“The figures in SAMHSA’s report remind us how important it is to take mental health as seriously as any other health condition.”
Oregon data revealed a nearly 23% rate of mental illness. The next states were Utah, West Virginia, Main, and Rhode Island, each having a rate above 21%. Conversely, New Jersey showed less than a 16% rate of mental illness, and other low states were Illinois, North and South Dakota, and Florida, which all feel around 16.5%
“The presence of in every state reinforces that mental illness is a major public health concern in the United States. Overall treatment levels remain low, and addressing the mental health of U.S. adults remains a concern for state and national public health officials.”
Researchers noted that by revealing the percentage of the population with a mental health disorder at local and state levels can assist policymakers in the evaluation of mental health needs within their communities. Identifying and analyzing changes in rates over time is critical to these assessments.
For example, the report stated that past-year mental illness rates increased in California, Maine, North Carolina and Rhode Island in the years between 2010-2012 and 2012-2014. Mental Health Conditions
~ G. Nathalee Serrels, M.A., Psychology