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38 Mental Health Statistics That Help Break the Stigma


mental health statistics

38 Mental Health Statistics That Help Break the Stigma

Good mental health is related to general psychological well-being and not just the absence of illness. All mental health statistics show that a healthy emotional, psychological, and social state can make coping with everyday stress easier. It can also help people be more productive and realize their real potential.

There’s been a dramatic increase in mental health issues in the last few years. With this in mind, it’s time to raise awareness of mental problems and show that a healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body.

But first, let’s take a look at some of the essential statistics and facts about mental health:

The Top 10 Key Mental Health Statistics

  • Every year, 1 in 5 Americans experiences a mental illness.
  • Over 10 million adults in the US don’t get treatment for their mental health.
  • Approximately 6% of all US adults with a mental impairment in fact have 3 or more disorders.
  • Every year, the global economy loses $1 trillion in productivity due to anxiety and depression.
  • Approximately 50% of people who suffer from depression also have an anxiety disorder.
  • In 50% of the cases, schizophrenia patients also have a co-occurring mental, medical, or behavioral health disorder.
  • Anxiety statistics reveal that 1 in 13 people around the world suffers from an anxiety disorder.
  • Over 3 million Americans suffer from schizophrenia.
  • Depression affects 1 in 8 adolescents and young adults.
  • Around 39% of college students suffer from at least one mental health disorder.

If you or someone you love suffers from a mental health disorder, there’s no reason to feel alone or afraid. There are millions of people who go through the same, so keep reading to find out more about mental health disorders, with a focus on the more common mental disorders.

Statistics on Mental Health in the US

1. Every year, 1 in 5 Americans suffers from a mental illness.


In addition to this, 1 in 25 Americans also experiences a serious mental illness. Mental illnesses affect millions of people every day, so measuring the effect mental illness has on the population is crucial for understanding the physical, social, and financial impact it has on the people who are affected by it.

2. Over 10 million adults in the US don’t get treatment for their mental health disorder.


In the case of mental health in America, statistics show that this number has not declined since 2011. The statistics also reveal that only 28.2% of youth and adults in the US who suffer from severe major depressive episodes receive some kind of constant treatment.

3. Approximately 6% of American adults who have a mental disorder in fact have at least 3 disorders.

(Mental Health First Aid) 

Furthermore, 14.4% have only one mental health disorder, and 5.8% have two disorders. Mental health and substance use disorders can appear in many forms. Some of the most common mental disorders can be seen—like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, or addiction—but others can be difficult to spot if you’re not looking for them.

4. The prevalence of a major depressive episode in youths aged 12–17 increased from 8.66% to 13.01% between 2012 and 2017.


Mental health rates among young people are steadily worsening, while the mental health rates in adults are in stagnation. However, suicidal ideation in adults is on the rise. According to some of the recent mental health facts, suicidal ideation in adults increased from 3.77% to 4.19% in the same period of time.

5. Women have double the likelihood of experiencing major depression compared to men.

(Johns Hopkins) 

It’s possible to develop major depression at any age, but on average, it occurs in someone’s mid-20s. On the other hand, bipolar disorder, which affects approximately 2.6% of US adults, most commonly begins in the early 20s.

6. Statistics about mental health reveal that people who suffer from mental disorders spend on average $341 more than diabetes patients.


Researchers have compared the data from the period of 2012 to 2017 and found that people with behavioral health issues spent more money on their health care than people with physical health conditions, even those who were privately insured. The shortage of mental health professionals may be one of the reasons for the notable expense.

7. Exercise and mental health statistics show that people who exercise regularly experience 1.5 fewer days of bad mental health per month.

(Science Daily) 

The study evaluated 1.2 million people in the US and found that going to the gym or practicing aerobics, cycling, or team sports had the best effects on people’s mental health. However, more doesn’t always mean better, so researchers suggest 45 minutes of physical activity 3–5 times a week for best results.

Global Mental Health Statistics

8. More than 10% of the world’s population suffered from a mental health disorder in 2017.

(Our World in Data) 

This is only data for the reported cases—keep in mind, the majority of mental health disorders remain unreported. Under-reporting data about mental health happens in all countries, but specifically in low-income ones, where there’s less attention given to mental illnesses, not to mention the limited treatment.

9. Approximately 300 million people had anxiety in 2017.

(The Guardian) 

As we’ve mentioned, these statistics can’t be precise due to discrimination and the problems created by ongoing mental health stigma, with statistics showing that people underreport their symptoms as a result. Nevertheless, it’s estimated that in the course of one year, at least 25% of the world’s population will suffer from some kind of mental disorder.

10. Every year, it costs the global economy $1 trillion in lost productivity caused by depression and anxiety.

(World Bank)

The impact that mental, neurological, and substance use disorders (MNS) have on people’s families—not to mention society in general—is enormous, but it’s often ignored or underestimated. Mental health statistics by state and country report that 20% of the working-age population in OECD countries are affected by some kind of mental health disorder. Numbers this high undoubtedly lead to great social and economic losses.

11. At an astounding 27%, the United States has the highest rate of mental health disorders in the world.


Ukraine follows with a 21% overall rate of mental disorders. However, their 6.4% rate of substance abuse exceeds the same mental health statistics for the US and is the highest in the world. For comparison, only 5.3% of the population in Japan reported suffering from anxiety, and Belgium reported only 12% of its population suffering from a mental disorder overall.

12. 96% of UK university students think that emotional education could help improve the country’s mental health crisis.


University students are the most common group affected by mental disorders. Furthermore, 65% of them said that having emotional education would help them fight future mental illnesses. Additionally, 52% of students said that it would give them the tools to help them take care of themselves better.

The Most Common Mental Illnesses: Facts and Statistics

13. On a global scale, depression—the second most common mental illness—is among the leading causes of disability.


It causes feelings of sadness, guilt, and low self-worth. Tiredness, lack of concentration, and disturbed sleep and appetite are also symptoms of depression. Since mental disorders are most often untreated in developing countries, it raises the suicide number to millions.

14. In the US, 6.7% of adults have at least one major depressive episode every year.


However, this single episode can grow into a persistent depressive disorder, and depression statistics show that it affects 1.5% of American adults. Persistent depressive disorder, or dysthymia, is a chronic condition, though not as serious as major depression. It brings feelings of deep sadness and hopelessness, and it usually lasts for around two years, sometimes even longer.

15. More than 16 million people in the US suffer from major depressive disorder.


There are many symptoms of major depressive disorder, but they always include either an overwhelming feeling of sadness or loss of interest and pleasure in most usual activities. Statistics on depression report that these symptoms will represent a major shift from a patient’s previous level of functioning, with symptoms typically lasting for two weeks.

16. Approximately 50% of the people who suffer from depression also have an anxiety disorder.


Anxiety disorders are the most common disorder in the United States, with more than 40 million affected adults. However, they’re also prevalent when it comes to children’s mental health. In fact, 25.1% of children suffer from an anxiety disorder. Very often anxiety co-occurs with other mental disorders like depression, ADHD, and eating disorders.

17. Anxiety statistics reveal that 1 in 13 people around the world suffers from an anxiety disorder.


The statistics also show that only a third of people affected by anxiety get the treatment they need—this is even more distressing considering how very treatable anxiety disorders are. The WHO reveals that the most common anxiety disorders include specific phobias, with social phobia as the most common, and major depressive disorder.

18. 6.8 million US adults suffer from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).


As the recent mental illness statistics show, women are doubly likely to be affected by GAD compared to men. Additionally, GAD can have both physical and emotional symptoms, so people who suffer from GAD can experience chronic fatigue, dizziness, nausea, irritability, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, and increased fear or worry over longer periods of time.

19. Over 3 million Americans suffer from schizophrenia.

(Mental Help) 

It usually develops in early adulthood, although there have been some cases of schizophrenia in children and older adults. Schizophrenia facts show that men between 18 and 25 years are the most likely to develop schizophrenia. Conversely, women are the most vulnerable to developing this mental disorder between 25 and 30, and then again when they’re around 40 years old.

20. In 50% of the cases, schizophrenia patients also have a co-occurring mental, medical, or behavioral health disorder.


These medical disorders include heart disease, and liver disease. Schizophrenia statistics show that these co-occurring disorders add to the higher rates of premature mortality in people with schizophrenia because they’re often under-detected and under-treated. Furthermore, there is evidence that it can also cause diabetes, or at least worsen its symptoms.

21. The global prevalence rate for schizophrenia is 1.1%.


In general, the prevalence rate for schizophrenia is similar for all countries worldwide, and it mostly ranges from 0.5% to 1%, as most statistics of schizophrenia show. It also affects different groups of people equally, no matter their culture, class, religion, or education.

22. Around half of those suffering from schizophrenia don’t receive treatment.


Schizophrenia can’t be cured, but it can be successfully managed with medication and psychosocial support. Unfortunately, the majority of people who suffer from schizophrenia don’t have access to these options.

23. On a global scale, schizophrenia affects 22 million people.


According to the facts about schizophrenia, just like other psychoses, schizophrenia is characterized by impaired thinking, emotions, perception, language, and behavior. It also includes hallucinations and delusions, making everyday life much more difficult.

24. In 2013, the US suffered approximately $155 billion in economic loss due to schizophrenia.

(Treatment Advocacy Center) 

This means every individual with schizophrenia costs the US over $44,000. Lost productivity is the biggest factor in this total: $117 billion. Unemployment and the cost of a caregiver also played a major role.

Youth Mental Health Statistics

25.  In the US, it’s estimated that 1 in 6 young children suffers from a mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder.


These disorders begin very early in childhood, which results in 17.4% of children aged 2–8 suffering from at least one disorder. However, behavioral problems are more common with children aged 6–11, while anxiety and depression are more common with older children.

26. Depression affects 1 in 8 adolescents and young adults.


As the teen mental health statistics report, depression is the most common mental disorder among this demographic. It’s normal for teenagers to experience different emotions, periods of depression, or anxiety. However, mental disorders can affect their school activities, concentration, eating and sleeping patterns, and so on.

27. Social media is the main cause of depressive symptoms in up to 50% of adolescent girls.

(Science Direct) 

It’s clear that social media causes mental health issues in today’s youth, but social media and mental health statistics show that it affects female adolescents more than males. The study also showed that when this social media use took place was also important. Adolescents who use social media for long periods during the day have much greater chances of experiencing depressive symptoms.

28. It’s estimated that 38% of female teenagers suffer from anxiety.


The National Institute of Mental Health also reports that in comparison, only 26.1% of male teenagers are reported to have an anxiety disorder. Furthermore, adolescent mental health statistics show that for 8.3% of adolescents, their anxiety disorder has resulted in severe impairment. Furthermore, 35% of teenagers suffer from sleep disturbances because of stress.

29. Around 39% of college students suffer from a mental health disorder.

(Active Minds) 

Even though today’s generations openly talk about their mental health issues, and seek help, a great number of them stay silent. In fact, two-thirds of college students don’t seek help. Untreated mental health issues may lead to suicide. Among college students, mental health statistics show that suicide is the second leading cause of death.

30. Approximately 44% of US college students exhibit symptoms of depression.

College Stats) 

Additionally, 75% of college students who suffer from depression don’t seek help. Symptoms of depression may be different for various individuals, but if an individual suspects that they may have some of the symptoms, they should go to a professional who can do a mental illness test and give them a diagnosis.

31. College mental health statistics reveal that over 41% of college students have an anxiety disorder.


Approximately 95% of college counseling center directors admit that the number of students with mental disorders on their campus is a growing concern. In addition, more than 70% of college counseling center directors believe that the number of college students with mental illnesses is on the rise. Additionally, 19% of them also think that the psychiatric services on their campuses aren’t adequate.

Mental Health Statistics for Specific Demographics

32. LGBT individuals have a 3 times greater likelihood of developing a mental health disorder.


In a great number of cases, LGBT individuals encounter discrimination, judgment, and social stigma. This is especially problematic because they’re often denied their civil and human rights. This has been associated with high rates of substance abuse, mental disorders, and suicide.

33. It’s estimated that 78% of gender minority college students meet the criteria for at least one mental disorder.


As some of the transgender mental health statistics reveal, transgender college students are four times more likely to develop a mental disorder. In addition to this, 60% of gender minority students suffer from clinical depression, compared to 28% of cisgender students.

34. Between 38% and 65% of transgender individuals have suicidal thoughts.


It’s also estimated that between 20% and 30% of the LGBT population abuses substances, compared to 9% of the general population. In addition to this, compared to people who identify themselves as straight, LGBT mental health statistics report that members of the LGBT community are more likely to attempt suicide and self-harm, compared to their straight peers.

35. Close to 30% of military personnel suffer from a mental disorder.

(National Council for Behavioral Health) 

This number includes both active and reserve personnel deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the majority of cases, they suffer from PTSD and major depression. However, less than 50% of veterans receive any kind of treatment when they come back home, recent veterans’ mental health statistics report.

36. Out of the more than 300,000 veterans who suffer from anxiety or PTSD, 5.6% are also homeless.


Researchers have found a strong relationship between PTSD, mental disorders, and homelessness. The rate of homelessness among the veteran population is approximately 3.7% for a five-year period. Additionally, unmarried veterans, as well as those with a drug use disorder, are two times more likely to become homeless.

37. Between 7% and 19% of police officers experience PTSD.


As the police mental health statistics report, this is the most common mental disorder in police officers, and it often leads to suicide or aggressive behavior with those they’re close to. The stressful and traumatic events police officers witness, along with the impact of shift work and its inconsistent hours, all contribute to the deterioration of their mental health.

38. More than 1 million people in jails and prisons suffer from at least one mental health disorder.


In the case of mental health in prisons, statistics report that the states with minimal access to mental health care have the greatest number of adults in the criminal justice system. Their involvement with the law often begins with smaller infractions like disorderly conduct, trespassing, or jaywalking. 

Since these offenses start early, they can likely be prevented with the various types of support and services that keep youth in school and out of the criminal justice system.


How many people suffer from depression?

Over 264 million people around the world suffer from depression, and approximately 800,000 people commit suicide every year, often due to depression. This is a common mental disorder and is highly treatable.

How many people suffer from mental illness?

One in four people suffer from a mental or neurological disorder worldwide, or to put it more simply, more than 450 million people. Mental disorders are currently at the top of the causes of bad health and disability in the world.

How many mental illnesses are there?

(Mental Health Association) 

The mental illness definition states that it’s a disease of the brain that causes disturbances in thinking and behavior, which further cause the inability to cope with life’s everyday routine and demands. There are more than 200 mental illnesses, but the list of mental disorders is not complete. However, the list of mental illnesses cites clinical depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and dementia as the most common mental health disorders.

Who can diagnose mental illness?

People often confuse psychiatrists and psychologists—even though both know how the human brain works, psychiatrists are medical doctors who diagnose mental illnesses, prescribe medication, and provide and manage treatment. On the other hand, psychologists can give their patients talk therapy, that is, psychotherapy.

How can someone get help for their mental illness?

The first step is to recognize that someone needs professional help. As for exactly how to get mental help, if there’s no immediate emergency or danger, it’s best to get in contact with a doctor. They can check the patient for symptoms and refer them to a mental health care professional. Now, if someone is in a crisis, or suicidal, the best thing to do is call 911.

The Bottom Line

We hope these stats and facts have shown that you aren’t alone in your battle with mental illness, that these disorders are normal and common, and that there’s no reason to feel ashamed, alone, or different.

Even though mental health refers to our emotional well-being, it also has a great impact on our physical state, as these mental health statistics have shown us. Because of this, it’s vital that you listen to your emotions and recognize the early signs of a mental disorder.


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