1-in-5 U.S. adults had mental illness

Nov. 27, 2012 at 7:21 PM
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ROCKVILLE, Md., Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Last year, 1-in-5 U.S. adults age 18 and older, or 46 million people, had a mental illness, U.S. health officials said.

Pamela S. Hyde, administrator of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said mental illness among adults was defined as having had a diagnosable mental, behavioral or emotional disorder -- excluding developmental and substance use disorders -- based on criteria specified in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

"Although mental illness remains a serious public health issue, increasingly we know that people who experience it can be successfully treated and can live full, productive lives," Hyde said in a statement. "Like other medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes, the key to recovery is identifying the problem and taking active measures to treat it as soon as possible."

The report said among adults with mental illness in the past year, about 4-in-10 received mental health services. However, among those who had serious mental illness in the past year the rate of treatment was notably higher at 6-in-10 adults.

The report also noted that an estimated 8.5 million U.S. adults had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year -- among them 2.4 million made suicide plans and 1.1 million attempted suicide.

Those in crisis or knowing someone they believe may be at immediate risk of attempting suicide are urged to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or go to http:/www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org. The Suicide Prevention Lifeline network, funded by SAMHSA, provides immediate free and confidential crisis round-the-clock counseling to anyone in need throughout the country, every day of the year.

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