Statistics on Mental Health Care

By: Shana Blumenthal MSW, LCSW – Associate Director of Clinical Programs, Keystone Associate Manager

Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being, and mental illnesses are common and treatable. Seeking professional help when self-help efforts to improve your mental health aren’t working is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Mental health numbers

  • Nearly 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. will have a diagnosable mental health condition in any given year.
  • 46 percent of people in the U.S. will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental health condition sometime in their life, and half of those people will develop conditions by the age of 14.
  • 44 million adults in the U.S. currently have been diagnosed with a mental illness. 
  • Many mental and behavioral health issues start in early childhood.  One study indicated that 1 in 6 U.S. children aged 2–8 years (17.4%) has been diagnosed with a mental health condition.  Previous studies indicated that between 13% and 20% of children age 12-17 in the U.S. have a mental health condition each year.

Common diagnoses

  • For adults, Anxiety is one of the most common diagnoses, followed by Major Depression, Addiction/Substance Use Disorder, and PTSD.
  • For children, ADHD, Anxiety, and Depression are the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders.  Behavioral disorders such as ADHD are more common among children aged 6-11, while diagnoses of Depression and Anxiety are more common among older children. 

Access to treatment

  • 56% of adults (24.6 million) with mental illness did not received any mental health treatment.
  • 20% of adults (9 million) with mental Illness report they try and cannot get treatment.
  • 61.5 % of youth (1.8 million) with Depression did not received any mental health treatment.
  • Only 25% of youth with Severe Depression received consistent treatment.  
  • For children, age and poverty level affected the likelihood of children receiving treatment for mental health concerns.  

Covid and Mental Health

  • Recent surveys collected by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), have shown substantial increases in self-reported behavioral health symptoms in the last year. According to one CDC report, which surveyed adults across the U.S. in late June of 2020, 31% of respondents reported symptoms of anxiety or depression, 13% reported having started or increased substance use, 26% reported stress-related symptoms, and 11% reported having serious thoughts of suicide in the past 30 days. These numbers are nearly double the rates we would have expected before the pandemic.


  • Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in the US, accounting for more than 1% of all deaths. It is the second leading cause of death among people ages 15-24. More years of life are lost to suicide than to any other single cause except heart disease and cancer.  If you or someone you know is in crisis now, seek help immediately. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach a 24-hour crisis center or dial 911 for immediate assistance.