Skip to content
    Font Size

    Mental Illness Affects About 10 million Adults

    More than a third aren't getting help, federal study says


    Among teens, depression increased from 2 million in 2011 to 3 million in 2015, Han said.

    Among adults, 9.8 million Americans reported having serious thoughts about suicide in the past year. This continued an upward trend that started in 2012. In 2011, 9 million adults reported thoughts of suicide, Han said.

    These numbers are rising along with the opioid epidemic, she said.

    In addition, 9.8 million adults have a serious mental illness. That number has remained about the same since 2011, Han said.

    Despite this, only about two-thirds of those who need it are getting treatment for mental health problems.

    Poor people have less opportunity for treatment, Krakower said.

    People who are uninsured or who have insurance with large deductibles may be more likely to deal with a physical problem rather than a mental problem, he said.

    In addition, wait times for treatment can be very long -- up to a year, Krakower said. That's because of the lack of trained staff and resources.

    "The country needs to figure out a better model so people get the mental health care they need," he said.

    The prescription drug abuse epidemic also continues, Han said.

    Many of these people get their drugs from a friend or relative or from a doctor, the researchers said.

    People without health insurance were nearly twice as likely to have misused a prescription painkiller as those with insurance in the past year, according to the report.

    In 2015, more than 1 million Americans were being treated for substance abuse. From 2011 to 2015, the number of people receiving medication-assisted therapy, mostly methadone, as part of a narcotic treatment program has increased about 16 percent.

    Looking for an explanation for the behavioral health problems in the country, Krakower speculated that the mood of America is feeding mental health and drug issues.

    "The morale of the country has been down," he said. "The economy drives a lot of people's mood. I don't think people feel comfortable in this country. When that kind of morale happens, it has an effect on people's psychology," Krakower said.

    The findings are published in the Behavioral Health Barometer -- United States, 2016, which was released June 12 by SAMHSA.

    1 | 2

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing