Mental Health By the Numbers

Mental Illness in America

In the U.S., 43.8 million adults (1 in 5) experience mental illness in a given year.

  • Nearly 1 in 25 (10 million) adults in America live with a serious mental illness, dying on average 25 years earlier than others, largely due to treatable medical conditions
  • 2 million adults have co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders
  • Approximately 26% of homeless adults staying in shelters live with a serious mental illness, while 46% live with severe mental illness and/or substance use disorders
  • Approximately 24% of state prisoners have a recent history of a mental health condition
  • Nearly 60% of adults with a mental illness didn’t receive treatment in the previous year
  • An estimated 18-22 veterans die by suicide each day
  • Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in U.S.
  • Mood disorders, including major depression, dysthymic disorder and bipolar disorder, are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for both youth and adults aged 18-44

Among American adults:

  • 1 in 100 (2.4 million) live with schizophrenia
  • 6% (6.1 million) live with bipolar disorder
  • 9% (16 million) live with major depression
  • 1% (42 million) live with anxiety disorders

Children and Teens

  • 1 in 5 children ages 13-18 have, or will develop, a serious mental illness
  • 50% of all lifetime cases of mental illness begin by age 14, and 75% by age 24
  • The average delay between onset of symptoms and intervention is 8-10 years
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death in youth ages 10-24, with 90% who die by suicide having a mental health condition
  • Approximately 50% of students age 14 and older with a mental illness drop out of high school
  • 70% of youth in state and local juvenile justice systems have a mental illness, and at least 20% have a serious mental illness
  • Just over half (50.6%) of children aged 8-15 received mental health services in the previous year

Of the 20% of youth ages 13-18 living with a mental health condition:

  • 11% have a mood disorder
  • 10% have a behavior or conduct disorder
  • 8% have an anxiety disorder

Multicultural Mental Health

  • Multicultural communities are less likely to receive mental health treatment, and receive poorer quality of care when they do access services
  • Multicultural communities encounter higher levels of stigma
  • African Americans and Hispanic Americans used mental health services at about one-half the rate of Caucasian Americans in the past year, and Asian Americans at about one-third the rate
  • LGBTQ individuals are 2 times more likely as straight individuals to have a mental health condition, while LGBTQ youth are 2-3 times more likely to attempt suicide than straight youth
  • 11% of transgender individuals reported being denied care by mental health clinics due to bias or discrimination

Of adults living with mental illness:

  • 16.3% are Hispanic
  • 19.3% are white
  • 18.6% are black
  • 13.9% are Asian
  • 28.3% are American Indian/Alaskan Native


-The National Alliance on Mental Illness