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The Facts & Numbers
  • One in four adults—approximately 61.5 million Americans—experience a mental illness in any given year.
  • One in 17—about 13.6 million—live with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia, major depression, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and posttraumatic stress and other anxiety disorders.
  • Schizophrenia affects about 2.4 million Americans, or 1.1 percent of the adult population.
  • Bipolar disorder affects 6.1 million American adults, approximately 2.6 percent of the adult population per year.
  • Major depression affects 6.7 percent of adults or about 14.8 million American adults. Mood disorders such as depression are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for both youth and adults ages 18 to 44.
  • Approximately 18.1 percent of American adults—about 42 million people—live with anxiety disorders, such as panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder and phobias.
  • An estimated 9.2 million adults have co-occurring mental health and addiction disorders.
  • Approximately 26% of homeless adults staying in shelters live with serious mental illness and/or substance abuse disorders.
  • One-half of all lifetime cases of mental illnesses begin by age 14, three-quarters by age 24. Despite effective treatments, there are long delays—sometimes decades—between the first onset of symptoms and when people seek and receive treatment.
  • Suicide is the tenth-leading cause of death in the United States and the third-leading cause of death for people ages 15-24 years. More than 90 percent of those who die by suicide had one or more mental disorders.
  • Although military members comprise less than 1 percent of the U.S. population, veterans represent 20 percent of suicides nationally. Each day, about 18 veterans die from suicide.
  • Approximately 20 percent of state prisoners and 21 percent of local jail prisoners have “a recent history” of a mental health disorder.
  • Seventy percent of youth in juvenile justice systems have at least one mental disorder with at least 20 percent living with a severe mental illness.
  • Over 50 percent of students with a mental health disorder age 14 and older who are served by special education drop out — the highest dropout rate of any disability group.
From the National Alliance on Mental Illness website,


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