Note: The National Institute of Mental Health, Mental Health America and NAMI have all released statistics about the state of mental health in America. Much reports on the year 2020, the first of the pandemic. Below are highlights from the reports. You can see the full information by clicking on each organization’s link above.
Twenty-one percent of U.S. adults experienced mental illness in 2020. That’s 52.9 million people. The annual prevalence of condition for 2020 is:
- Anxiety Disorders: 48 million people (19.1% of U.S. population)
- Major Depression: 21 million (8.4%)
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: 9 million (3.6%)
- Bipolar Disorder: 7 million (2.8%)
- Borderline Personality Disorder: 3.5 million (1.4%)
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: 3 million (1.2%)
- Schizophrenia: 1.5 million (less than 1%)
Fifty percent of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14 and 75 percent by age 24. About 7.7 million U.S. children ages 6-17 experienced a mental health disorder.
The percentage of people getting treatment continues to be low (46% of adults, 65% of adults with severe mental illness and 50% of youth). The average delay between the onset of mental illness symptoms and treatment is 11 years. And the number of U.S. counties that do not have even one practicing psychiatrist: 55%.
Impact of Mental Illness in 2020
Mental illness and substance use disorders are in involved in one out of 8 emergency room visits (12 million visits). Mood disorders like Bipolar and Major Depression were the most common cause of hospitalization for people under 45, excluding childbirth. People with serious mental illness are:
- 21% of the homeless
- 37% of adults in state and federal prisons
- 44% of adults in local jails
- 70% of youth in juvenile justice system
- 15.3% of U.S. veterans
Twenty-five percent of the people shot and killed by police between 2015 and 2020 had a mental illness.
At least 8.4 million Americans provide care to an adult with mental illness. They spend an average of 32 hours per week providing this care, although that seems high to me.
Ranking of States
Mental Health America does an annual ranking of states that show which are doing the best job dealing with mental illness, based on 15 measures. The Top 10 are:
- New Jersey
- New York
My state, Ohio, fell from No. 11 in the ranking last year to No. 25 because of the large increase in the number of youth who have a mental health diagnosis and are not getting treatment.