Model of a Brain

10 Statistics About Mental Illness

Oct 28, 2020

Knowing the facts about mental illness is important, whether you experience it or not. Understanding mental illness and having an open dialogue about health and wellness can help us (and others!) feel less alone. With mental illness being both common and treatable, it’s important that we stay informed so we can advocate for ourselves and others. 

1. One in five U.S. adults lives with a mental illness. These illnesses can range from mild to severe and have the potential to drastically impact someone’s life. Early treatment can help, which is why talking about mental health and breaking the stigma is so important.

2. 46% of US adults will experience a mental illness during their lifetime. Some individuals may seek therapy for their illness or they may require more acute, residential care.

3. 4.6% of U.S. adults live with a serious mental illness. A person is considered to have a serious mental illness (or SMI) when their symptoms severely impair their functioning. Schizophrenia, severe bipolar disorder, and severe depression can be categorized as serious mental illnesses. These illnesses can be managed by psychotherapy, medication, or other treatments.

4. 66.7% of individuals with a serious mental illness get treatment. That means 33.3% of people don’t receive treatment. Commonly cited reasons for not seeking mental health treatment are a lack of accessibility to treatment options, personal finances, insurance, societal stigma, and more. 

5. 19.3% of U.S. adults with mental illness also have a substance abuse disorder. Out of all adults in the U.S., 3.7% are estimated to have both a mental illness and a substance abuse disorder. Together, these disorders can increase negative symptoms, so it’s essential that those affected by both seek professional care to start the road to recovery. 

6. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. If you or a loved one are experiencing suicidal thoughts or actions, reach out for help immediately. You can connect with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, local crisis centers, or call 911 for immediate care.

7. 4.3% of U.S. adults experience suicidal thoughts in a given year. Talking to loved ones about suicide or checking in with people who are having suicidal thoughts can help reduce suicidal ideation.

8. Half of lifetime mental illnesses begin before age 14. 75% start before age 24. This is why early intervention is especially important. Getting help early on can make a difference in the recovery process.

9. 20.6% of U.S. adults with a mental illness try to get treatment, but can’t. There can be a variety of different reasons for this. Causes may include a lack of access to affordable or accessible care, difficulty navigating insurance, financial restrictions, feelings of shame, cultural stigma, and more.

10. 11.3% of individuals with a mental illness do not have insurance coverage. The reality is, mental health care is expensive without insurance to offset some of the cost. It’s likely that those living with mental illness, who lack insurance, will be unable to seek or afford the care they need to thrive. With more free services and resource lines popping up, options are expanding, but still not enough to meet the need.

A Team of Experts

At Guild, we know mental illness because we treat it every day. With the right treatment, people with mental illness can drastically improve their quality of life. 

Looking for resources? Have insurance but not sure how to get the care you need? Don’t have insurance but interested in what treatment options are available to you?  Reach out to our Community Access Team at (651) 925-8490. We can help.

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Mental Health by the Numbers, National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Mental Illness, National Institute of Mental Health

Quick Facts and Statistics About Mental Health, Mental Health America.