SAMHSA releases 2011 stats on mental health in the US


New data show that during the past year, one in five U.S. adults experienced some kind of mental illness. These findings come from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) report shows the results relating to mental health. The NSDUH is the primary source of statistics on civilians in the United States for consumption of alcohol, illegal drugs, and tobacco. The survey has been conducted annually since 1971. They utilize face-to-face interviews, talking to civilians aged 12 and older in each person’s home. An estimated 65,750 people participated in 2011.

Younger people and women more at risk

The survey found that among people aged 18 to 25, the rate of mental illness was over two times greater than the rate for those aged 50 and older. Women also showed a higher chance of mental illness than men with 23% versus 16%.

In 2011, 5% of adults had serious mental illness, defined as when severe function impairment results from mental illness. This impairment disrupts or limits one or more important life activities, which were self-identified.

Mental illness is defined as having had a diagnosable emotional, mental, or behavioral disorder in the past year. The definition did not include developmental disorders or substance use disorders, though people with serious mental health issues had a higher chance of substance dependence or abuse at 23%.

Treatments highly successful and better one’s life

“Although mental illness remains a serious public health issue, increasingly we know that people who experience it can be successfully treated and can live full, productive lives,” explained SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde.

“Like other medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes, the key to recovery is identifying the problem and taking active measures to treat it as soon as possible.”

More people seeking treatment, but suicide still a serious issue

Only four in 10 adults received help with their mental illness, but the rate of treatment was significantly higher than in past years.

As many as 8.5 million adults considered committing suicide, as many as 2.4 million made plans to do so, and 1.1 million actually followed through on the attempt.

Sources: MedicalNewsToday, SAMHSA


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