Mental Illness

MENTAL HEALTH BY THE NUMBERS

Last updated: Mar. 2021

Millions of people in the U.S. are affected by mental illness each year. It’s important to measure how common mental illness is, so we can understand its physical, social and financial impact — and so we can show that no one is alone. These numbers are also powerful tools for raising public awareness, stigma-busting and advocating for better health care.

1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year 1 in 25 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year 1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24 Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34 

You Are Not Alone

  • 20.6% of U.S. adults experienced mental illness in 2019 (51.5 million people). This represents 1 in 5 adults.

  • 5.2% of U.S. adults experienced serious mental illness in 2019 (13.1 million people). This represents 1 in 20 adults.

  • 16.5% of U.S. youth aged 6-17 experienced a mental health disorder in 2016 (7.7 million people)

  • 3.8% of U.S. adults experienced a co-occurring substance use disorder and mental illness in 2019 (9.5 million people)

  • Annual prevalence of mental illness among U.S. adults, by demographic group:

    • Non-Hispanic Asian: 14.4%

    • Non-Hispanic white: 22.2%

    • Non-Hispanic black or African-American: 17.3%

    • Non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native: 18.7%

    • Non-Hispanic mixed/multiracial: 31.7%

    • Non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: 16.6%

    • Hispanic or Latino: 18.0%

    • Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual: 44.1%

  • Annual prevalence among U.S. adults, by condition:

    • Major Depressive Episode: 7.8% (19.4 million people)

    • Schizophrenia: <1% (estimated 1.5 million people)

    • Bipolar Disorder: 2.8% (estimated 7 million people)

    • Anxiety Disorders: 19.1% (estimated 48 million people)

    • Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: 3.6% (estimated 9 million people)

    • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: 1.2% (estimated 3 million people)

    • Borderline Personality Disorder: 1.4% (estimated 3.5 million people)

Mental Health Care Matters

  • 44.8% of U.S. adults with mental illness received treatment in 2019  

  • 65.5% of U.S. adults with serious mental illness received treatment in 2019  

  • 50.6% of U.S. youth aged 6-17 with a mental health disorder received treatment in 2016  

  • The average delay between onset of mental illness symptoms and treatment is 11 years

  • Annual treatment rates among U.S. adults with any mental illness, by demographic group:

    • Male: 36.8%

    • Female: 49.7%

    • Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual: 49.2%

    • Non-Hispanic Asian: 23.3%

    • Non-Hispanic white: 50.3%

    • Non-Hispanic black or African-American: 32.9%

    • Non-Hispanic mixed/multiracial: 43.0%

    • Hispanic or Latino: 33.9%

  • 10.9% of U.S. adults with mental illness had no insurance coverage in 2019

  • 11.9% of U.S. adults with serious mental illness had no insurance coverage in 2019

  • 55% of U.S. counties do not have a single practicing psychiatrist

The Ripple Effect Of Mental Illness

PERSON

  • People with depression have a 40% higher risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases than the general population. People with serious mental illness are nearly twice as likely to develop these conditions.

  • 18.4% of U.S. adults with mental illness also experienced a substance use disorder in 2019 (9.5 million individuals)

  • The rate of unemployment is higher among U.S. adults who have mental illness (5.8%) compared to those who do not (3.6%)

  • High school students with significant symptoms of depression are more than twice as likely to drop out compared to their peers

  • Students aged 6-17 with mental, emotional or behavioral concerns are 3x more likely to repeat a grade.

FAMILY

  • At least 8.4 million people in the U.S. provide care to an adult with a mental or emotional health issue

  • Caregivers of adults with mental or emotional health issues spend an average of 32 hours per week providing unpaid care

COMMUNITY

  • Mental illness and substance use disorders are involved in 1 out of every 8 emergency department visits by a U.S. adult (estimated 12 million visits)

  • Mood disorders are the most common cause of hospitalization for all people in the U.S. under age 45 (after excluding hospitalization relating to pregnancy and birth)

  • Across the U.S. economy, serious mental illness causes $193.2 billion in lost earnings each year

  • 20.5% of people experiencing homelessness in the U.S. have a serious mental health condition

  • 37% of adults incarcerated in the state and federal prison system have a diagnosed mental illness

  • 70.4% of youth in the juvenile justice system have a diagnosed mental illness

  • 41% of Veteran’s Health Administration patients have a diagnosed mental illness or substance use disorder

WORLD

  • Depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy $1 trillion in lost productivity each year 

  • Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide

It’s Okay To Talk About Suicide

  • Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among people aged 10-34 in the U.S.

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.

  • The overall suicide rate in the U.S. has increased by 35% since 1999

  • 46% of people who die by suicide had a diagnosed mental health condition

  • 90% of people who die by suicide had shown symptoms of a mental health condition, according to interviews with family, friends and medical professionals (also known as psychological autopsy)

  • Lesbian, gay and bisexual youth are 4x more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth

  • 78% of people who die by suicide are male

  • Transgender adults are nearly 12x more likely to attempt suicide than the general population

  • Annual prevalence of serious thoughts of suicide, by U.S. demographic group:

    • 4.8% of all adults

    • 11.8% of young adults aged 18-25

    • 18.8% of high school students

    • 46.8% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual high school students

If you or someone you know is in an emergency, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.

Mental Illness And The Criminal Justice System

CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM

  • About 2 million times each year, people with serious mental illness are booked into jails.

  • About 2 in 5 people who are incarcerated have a history of mental illness (37% in state and federal prisons and 44% held in local jails).

  • 66% of women in prison reported having a history of mental illness, almost twice the percentage of men in prison.

  • Nearly one in four people shot and killed by police officers between 2015 and 2020 had a mental health condition.

  • Suicide is the leading cause of death for people held in local jails.

  • An estimated 4,000 people with serious mental illness are held in solitary confinement inside U.S. prisons.

COMMUNITIES

  • 70% of youth in the juvenile justice system have a diagnosable mental health condition.

  • Youth in detention are 10 times more likely to suffer from psychosis than youth in the community.

  • About 50,000 veterans are held in local jails — 55% report experiencing a mental illness.

  • Among incarcerated people with a mental health condition, non-white individuals are more likely to go to solitary confinement, be injured, and stay longer in jail.

ACCESS TO CARE

  • About 3 in 5 people (63%) with a history of mental illness do not receive mental health treatment while incarcerated in state and federal prisons.

  • Less than half of people (45%) with a history of mental illness receive mental health treatment while held in local jails.

  • People who have healthcare coverage upon release from incarceration are more likely to engage in services that reduce recidivism.

Source: nami.org


Call the NAMI Helpline at 800-950-6264 M-F, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., ET 

 Or in a crisis, text "NAMI" to 741741 for 24/7, confidential, free crisis counseling