Medical News: 1 in 5 Americans Had Mental Illness in 12-Month Period
About 20% of American adults reported having had a mental illness during the preceding year, a government survey found.
The figure rose to almost 30% of those in the 18 to 25 age group, compared with 14.3% of patients 50 and older, according to researchers from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
And of the nearly 46 million U.S. adults who reported having had a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder when surveyed in 2010, some 60% didn’t receive any treatment for the condition.
The most common reason for not getting mental healthcare was not being able to afford it.
The researchers noted that although the 20% figure is “relatively high,” just 5% reported having serious issues that interfered with their normal activities.
Although more of those with serious mental illness reported receiving treatment, a large proportion — 39% — didn’t receive any mental health services.
The unemployed, Medicaid beneficiaries, and those living below the poverty level were more likely to have mental illness in the preceding year, as were younger patients. Women appeared to be at greater risk than men (23% versus 16.8%).
Substance use disorders were more common among those with mental illness than among those reporting no disorders (20% versus 6.1%), and the prevalence was even higher among patients with serious mental illness (25.2%).
The findings emphasize the need for mental health treatment specialists to address substance use disorders, and to more extensively integrate mental health and substance use treatment centers, the researchers wrote.