Success in the Media

One in Five Americans Experience Diagnosable Mental Illness


43.7 Million Americans Experienced Mental Illness in 2012

Nearly one in five American adults, or 43.7 million people, experienced a diagnosable mental illness in 2012 according to SAMHSA. These results are consistent with 2011 findings.

Top Three Reasons Adults Did Not Get Mental Health Treatment in 2012

  • They worried about affording the cost.
  • They thought they could handle the problem without treatment.
  • They did not know where to receive services.

The Affordable Care Act and new parity protections are expanding mental and substance use disorder benefits for 62 million Americans. This historic expansion will help make treatment more affordable and accessible.”

New NSDUH Findings

The new findings come from SAMHSA’s 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). In the survey, mental illness among adults age 18 or older is defined as having had a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder (excluding developmental and substance use disorders) in the past year based on criteria specified in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), published by the American Psychiatric Association.

In this survey, serious mental illness is defined as mental illness that resulted in serious functional impairment, which substantially interfered with or limited one or more major life activities. A major depressive episode is defined as a period of at least 2 weeks when a person experienced a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure in daily activities and had at least four of seven additional symptoms reflecting the criteria as described in DSM-IV.

Read the Full Press Release | View the 2012 NSDUH Study


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