Mental illness is One of the Leading Causes of Disability in the United States

Nearly 20 percent of Americans — 44.5 million adults — experienced some sort of mental illness over the last year, according to a new report from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Agency (SAMHSA).

The report details state by state the percent of the population who has suffered a mental illness.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are treatable, and the vast majority of people who experience anxiety disorders can be helped with professional care. Unfortunately in the past year only 37.9 percent of adults with mental health problems received any type of care,” SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde said in a statement. “The chasm between need and care is costly both in terms of personal health because of missed opportunities to prevent disability and health care expenditures related to illness such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity.”

The report counts “mental illness” as any sort of mental, behavioral or emotional disorder that is diagnosable from the DSM-IV. The disorder must cause “substantial functional impairment” or must be defined as a serious mental illness that requires treatment.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

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About WINAHEAD

WINAHEAD is made up of representatives from twenty-nine institutions. Our members are professionals employed by two- and four-year colleges and universities who work directly with students with disabilities to ensure equal access to higher education. WIN indicates the geographic area we represent: Western Iowa and Nebraska. AHEAD is our national parent organization, the Association on Higher Education and Disability.
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