Friday, November 19, 2010

Mental illness Affects 1 in 5 Americans

Nearly one in five adult Americans has experienced mental illness in the past year, according to a fresh government survey, with women, the unemployed, and young adults more likely than others to be affected.

Among those one in five -- representing 45 million Americans -- the survey found that nearly 20%, or nearly 9 million, also had substance dependence or abuse problems in the before year.

The results are in the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a public health agency within the Department of Health and Human Services.

"It's a sobering statement," says Peter Delany, PhD, director of the Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality at SAMHSA.

Access to care is wanting, with less than four in 10 of those with mental health problems in the past year getting mental health help, the survey found.

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