U.S. Mental Health Issues - Statistics & Facts

U.S. Mental Health Issues - Statistics & Facts

Statistics and facts about mental health issues in the U.S.

In 2015, almost one out of every five adults in the United States had some form of mental illness in the preceding year. Nearly seven percent of all adults suffered a major case of depression within the same period. American Indians and native Alaskans have the highest level of mental health issues, while Asians and Pacific Islanders have the lowest. Illinois and Oregon are the two states where the highest percentage of poor mental health is reported, while South Dakota and Texas are reported to have the lowest percentage.


The issue of mental health is becoming more and more critical in the United States as national expenditure is steadily increasing. Total costs for mental health services were expected to reach approximately 194 billion U.S. dollars in 2016, placing mental disorders among the nation’s most expensive medical conditions.

The use of mental health services in the United States has stabilized over the last decade, with prescription drugs representing the most common type of care. As expected, mental health services are most often received by persons with serious mental illnesses. In most cases, adults experiencing a major depressive episode will seek professional help at generalists or family doctors, followed by psychiatrists or psychotherapists. High costs are often cited as the chief reason for not utilizing mental health services.

According to some estimates, around 28.5 million adults in the U.S. receive mental health treatment through prescribed medication. Thus, mental health is one of the most productive therapeutic sectors in the U.S. pharmaceutical industry. For example, top psychiatric drug Abilify alone generated some 7.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2013-2014.



Photo: Wikimedia/cc, Hermann Rorschach

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