The Mental Health of Americans

BY: Neighbors’ Consejo|

Mental health is a fundamental part of the life of all human beings. With a healthy emotional balance we build stability in our relationships and in our daily activities. There are many societies around the world that we could look at to demonstrate the importance of emotional wellbeing, however, in this article, we will focus on the mental health of Americans. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC [1] ): More than 50% of Americans will be diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime; 1 in 5 Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year; 1 in 5 children, either currently or at some point during their life, have had a seriously debilitating mental illness; 1 in 25  Americans live with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression.   

Mental Health America states that [2] : in 2019-2020, 20.78% of adults were experiencing a mental illness. That is equivalent to over 50 million Americans; millions of adults in the U.S. experience serious thoughts of suicide, with the highest rate among multiracial individuals. The percentage of adults reporting serious thoughts of suicide is 4.84% totaling over 12.1 million individuals. 11% of adults who identified with two or more races reported serious thoughts of suicide in 2020 – 6% higher than the average among all adults.

Additionally, “over half (54.7%) of adults with a mental illness do not receive treatment, totaling over 28 million individuals. Even in Montana, over 4 in 10 adults with a mental illness did not receive care. Nationally, only 28% of youths with severe depression receive some consistent treatment, most young people (57%) with severe depression do not receive any care.” If you want to read the full study of MHA, just follow

The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI [3] ) gives us some figures based on the type of condition of each American who suffers a mental illness: 48 million people (19.1%) Anxiety Disorders; 21 million people (8.4%) Major Depressive Episode; 9 million people (3.6%) Posttraumatic Stress Disorder; 7 million people (2.8%) Bipolar Disorder; 3.5 million people (1.4%) Borderline Personality Disorder; 3 million people (1.2%) Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; 1.5 million people (1%) Schizophrenia. NAMI invites us to read The Ripple Effect of Mental Illness

How can Americans improve their mental health? Staying positive, practicing gratitude, taking care of their physical health, connecting with others, developing a sense of meaning and purpose in life, developing coping skills, using meditation and relaxation techniques [4] .

However, if you need help, remember that you can contact the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline 988 [5] , and that you have free support in cities like Washington D.C., which have organizations like Neighbors’ Consejo [6] , with professionals attentive to you 24/7. Remember that you are not alone.








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