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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Facts on mental health issues in the U.S.
PrevalenceValuesStatistic
Percentage of females with any mental illness within the past year as of 201521.2% Details →
Percentage of male youth with a major depressive episode within the past year as of 20155.8% Details →
Percentage of people with serious psychological distress in the past month 2013-20143.4% Details →
Regions and statesValuesStatistic
State with the highest percentage of adults reporting poor mental health as of 2015Oregon Details →
State with the lowest percentage of adults reporting poor mental health as of 2015South Dakota Details →
Mental illness and substance useValuesStatistic
Percentage of adults with serious mental illness and alcohol dependence as of 201515.6% Details →
Percentage of adults with serious mental illness and a substance abuse disorder as of 201523.8% Details →
Percentage of unemployed adults with a mental illness and substance use disorder as of 20156.4% Details →
ExpenditureValuesStatistic
Projected expenditure for mental health services in 2020238.4bn USD Details →
Mental health as a percent of total health spending in 20165.7% Details →
Projected annual growth of mental health treatment spending in 20205.9% Details →
Services and treatmentValuesStatistic
Top hospital for adult psychiatry in the United States as of 2016Massachusetts General Hospital Details →
Percentage of adults with a major depressive episode that sought treatment from a psychiatrist in 201532.5% Details →
Percentage of adults that did not seek mental health services because they could not afford the care in 201543.6% Details →
Pharmaceutical marketValuesStatistic
Number of adults that received prescription medication for mental health in 201528.5m Details →
Retail prescription drug spending for mental health treatments in 201651.7bn USD Details →
MiscellaneousValuesStatistic
Percentage of mental health apps targeted towards people with depression as of 201518% Details →
Percentage of people in psychological distress that had serious thoughts of suicide in 201524.9% Details →
Percentage of people with a major depressive episode that had serious thoughts of suicide in 201528.6% Details →


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