Data on behavioral health in the United States

  • Mental illness is associated with increased occurrence of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, epilepsy and cancer. (CDC)

  • Mental illness is associated with lower use of medical care, reduced adherence to treatment therapies for chronic diseases and higher risks of adverse health outcomes. (CDC)

  • Many people suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time. Nearly half (45 percent) of those with any mental disorder meet criteria for two or more disorders, with severity strongly related to comorbidity. (NIMH)

  • Mental disorders were one of the five most costly conditions in the United States in 2006, with expenditures at $57.5 billion. (AHRQ) (PDF, 615KB)

  • Over 8.9 million persons have co-occurring disorders — that is, they have both a mental and substance use disorder. (SAMHSA)

Access to Treatment

  • Up to one-in-four primary care patients suffer from depression; yet, primary care doctors identify less than one-third (31 percent) of these patients. (AHRQ) (PDF, 615KB)

  • Among the 8.9 million adults with any mental illness and a substance use disorder, 44 percent received substance use treatment or mental health treatment in the past year, 13.5 percent received both mental health treatment and substance use treatment and 37.6 percent did not receive any treatment. (SAMHSA)

  • Four percent of young adults reported forgoing mental health care in the past year, despite self-reported mental health needs. (AHRQ) (PDF, 615KB)

  • People with psychotic disorders and bipolar disorder are 45 percent and 26 percent less likely, respectively, to have a primary care doctor than those without mental disorders. (AHRQ) (PDF, 615KB)


  • Major depressive disorder is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15-44. (NIMH)

  • Major depressive disorder affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older in a given year. (NIMH)

  • While major depressive disorder can develop at any age, the median age at onset is 32. (NIMH)

  • Major depressive disorder is more prevalent in women than in men. (NIMH)


  • Approximately 40 million American adults ages 18 and older, or about 18.1 percent of people in this age group in a given year, have an anxiety disorder. (NIMH)

  • Anxiety disorders frequently co-occur with depressive disorders or substance abuse.

  • Nearly three-quarters of those with an anxiety disorder will have their first episode by age 21.5. (NIMH)

Mental Disorders

  • Adults with any type of mental illness in the past year: 45.1 million. (SAMHSA)

  • Adults with serious mental illness: 11 million. (SAMHSA)

  • Published studies report that about 25 percent of all U.S. adults have a mental illness and that nearly 50 percent of U.S. adults will develop at least one mental illness during their lifetime. (CDC)

  • Nearly one-fourth of all adult stays in U.S. community hospitals involve depressive, bipolar, schizophrenia and other mental health disorders or substance use-related disorders. (AHRQ) (PDF, 615KB)


  • Most adults with mental health symptoms (78 percent) and without mental health symptoms (89 percent) agreed that treatment can help persons with mental illness lead normal lives. (CDC)

  • 57 percent of all adults believed that people are caring and sympathetic to persons with mental illness. (CDC)

  • Only 25 percent of adults with mental health symptoms believed that people are caring and sympathetic to persons with mental illness. (CDC)

Data are from government health agencies under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.