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Fact Tuesday: Mental Health in America

by Countable | 11.7.17

While visiting Japan, President Donald Trump said of the Texas shooter: "I think that mental health is the problem here. This was a very — based on preliminary reports — very deranged individual, a lot of problems over a long period of time. We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries."

Other countries do have a lot of mental health problems—but because of that ".us" in our URL, we’re going to focus on mental health in America.

  • 1 in 5 adults experience a mental illness—that’s over 40 million Americans

  • 1 in 25 Americans live with a serious mental illness

  • In the past 30 days, 3.6% of American adults experienced some sort of serious psychological distress

  • 1.1% of Americans live with schizophrenia; 2.6% live with bipolar disorder; 6.9% live with major depression; 18.1% live with anxiety disorders

  • 1 in 6 Americans takes psychiatric drugs

  • In 2010, Americans spent more than $16 billion on antipsychotics, $11 billion on antidepressants, and $7 billion on drugs to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

  • Psychiatric drug use differs by race and ethnicity: 20.8% of white adults reported use of psychotropics, compared with 9.7% of black adults, 8.7% of Latino adults, and 4.8% of Asian adults

  • The top 10 psychiatric drugs used by American adults/Countable writers include:

    1. Sertraline hydrochlolride (Zoloft) 2. Citalopram hydrobromide (Celexa) 3. Alprazolam (Xanax) 4. Zolpidem tartrate (Ambien) 5. Fluoxetine hydrochloride (Prozac) 6. Trazodone hydrochloride (Desyrel) 7. Clonazepam (Klonopin) 8. Lorazepam (Ativan) 9. Escitalopram oxalate (Lexapro) 10. Duloxetine hydrochloride (Cymbalta)
  • 60% of American adults suffering a mental illness do not receive treatment

  • 26% of homeless Americans staying in shelters suffer from some sort of serious mental illness

  • 24% of state prisoners have a recent mental health condition

  • Mental illness costs America $198.2 billion in lost earnings every year

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.—and 90% of those who die by suicide have an underlying mental illness

  • 9.8 million adults 18 or older considered killing themselves in 2015—of those, 2.7 million made plans to commit suicide and 1.4 million made a nonfatal suicide attempt

  • “Teens who spend 3 hours a day or more on electronic devices are 35% more likely to have a risk factor for suicide, such as making a suicide plan," according to an article in The Atlantic

  • The U.S. spent an estimated $201 billion dollars on mental health treatment in 2013—making it the costliest medical condition in the country.

Those considering suicide can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24-hours a day at 1-800-273-8255 or chat online here

— Josh Herman

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