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22 Eye-Opening Mental Healthcare Stats

Teresa Iafolla

Written by Teresa Iafolla

Cultivating our mental health is a key part of our well-being. Whether you’re a mental health professional, or just someone invested in the health of your patients, friends, or family, you know this well.

But many others don’t. Many patients who struggle with mental illness still don’t seek treatment, for fear of stigma or because they don’t have adequate access to care. Many others are just not well-educated about mental health.

May is Mental Health Month. So our team at eVisit thought, what better time to research the state of mental health treatment in the U.S. and share some eye-opening facts?

Here are 22 statistics about mental health, some of which may surprise you. We found all of them to be a sobering call to action.

Please share this post with others and spread the word about the importance of mental healthcare. Take a few minutes to talk about mental health with those close to you. And if you’re a physician, don’t forget to take some time for yourself, too!

Prevalence of Mental Illness

  1. About 1 in 5 adults aged 18 or older in the U.S. (18.1%) experiences some form of mental illness in a given year.1
  2. Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S. (4.2%) experiences a serious mental illness in a given year, that significantly impacts or limits one or more major life activities.2
  3. Almost half of U.S. teenagers have experienced a mental illness, and about 1 in 5 (21.4%) have a “severe” disorder.3
  4. Just over half of the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. with a substance abuse disorder also have a co-occurring mental illness.4
  5. The prevalence for specific diseases affecting adults in the U.S.: 1.1% for schizophrenia; 2.6% for bipolar disorder; 6.7% for at least one major depressive episode in the past year; and 18.1% for any anxiety disorder, such as posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and various phobias.5,6,7,8

Costs of Mental Illness

  1. The costs associated with patients suffering from major depressive disorder in the U.S. increased by 21.5% from 2005 to 2010 (from $173.2 billion to $210.5 billion). The estimated cost was $83.1 billion in 2000.9
  2. Of those costs, 45% were from direct medical costs for care, 5% to suicide-related costs, and 50% to workplace-related costs (such as lost productivity and absenteeism).9
  3. Major depression is the most common mental health-related cause for disability, at 3.7% of all U.S. disability-adjusted life years and 8.3% of all U.S. years lived with a disability.7
  4. Health economists estimated global costs for mental disorders to increase from an estimated $2.5 trillion in 2010 to a projected $6.0 trillion by 2030 (greater than the costs of diabetes, respiratory disorders, and cancer combined).10
  5. Of those projected costs by 2030, high-income countries are expected to experience about 65% of those costs (about $3.9 trillion).10


  1. From 1999 to 2014, the suicide rate in the U.S. increased 24%, from 10.5 to 13.0 per 100,000 people.11
  2. Increases in suicide rates from 1999 to 2014 were across the board, for males and females and ages 10 to 74.11
  3. The percent increase for the suicide rate for females was significantly higher (45% increase) than males (16% increase).11
  4. Even with that increase, the suicide rate for men (20.7 per 100,000 in 2014) is still more than three times the rate for women (5.8 per 100,000 in 2014).11
  5. For women, the highest percent increase in suicide rates was for ages 10 to 14 (200%, from 0.5 per 100,000 in 1999 to 1.5 in 2014).11
  6. For men, the highest percent increase in suicide rates was for ages 45 to 64 (43%, from 20.8 per 100,000 in 1999 to 29.7 in 2014).11
  7. The group with the highest rate of suicide is still men over age 75 at 38.8 per 100,000 in 2014 (versus 42.4 in 1999).11
  8. Among surveys where history of U.S. military service was reported, veterans made up about 22.2% of all suicides.12
  9. On average, an estimated 22 veterans die by suicide each day.12
  10. More than 90% of people who commit suicide had one or more mental disorders.13

Many thanks to the sources of our statistics: National Institute of Mental Health (National Institutes of Health), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, World Economic Forum and Harvard School of Public Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Alliance for the Mentally Ill


  1. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/any-mental-illness-ami-among-us-adults.shtml
  2. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/serious-mental-illness-smi-among-us-adults.shtml
  3. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/any-disorder-among-children.shtml
  4. http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FRR1-2014/NSDUH-FRR1-2014.pdf
  5. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/schizophrenia.shtml
  6. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/bipolar-disorder-among-adults.shtml
  7. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/major-depression-among-adults.shtml
  8. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/statistics/prevalence/any-anxiety-disorder-among-adults.shtml
  9. http://www.psychiatrist.com/jcp/article/Pages/2015/v76n02/v76n0204.aspx
  10. http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Harvard_HE_GlobalEconomicBurdenNonCommunicableDiseases_2011.pdf
  11. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db241.htm
  12. https://www.va.gov/opa/docs/Suicide-Data-Report-2012-final.pdf
  13. http://www2.nami.org/factsheets/mentalillness_factsheet.pdf


Published: May 18, 2016