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WHY THIS MATTERS

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2021 PREVALENCE STATISTICS

Adults


Mental Illness: 19.86% of adults, nearly 50 million Americans, are currently experiencing a mental illness. NOTE: SAMHSA defines Any Mental Illness (AMI) as having a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder, other than a developmental or substance use disorder.


Substance Use: 7.74% of adults in America reported having a substance use disorder in the past year.


Suicide Risk: The percentage of adults reporting serious thoughts of suicide is 4.58%. The estimated number of adults with serious suicidal thoughts is over 11.4 million—an increase of 664,000 people from 2020.

Youth and Pediatrics:


Depression: 15.08% of youth (age 12-17) report suffering from at least one major depressive episode (MDE) in the past year. The number of youths experiencing MDE increased by 306,000 (1.24 percent) from 2020 to 2021.


Childhood Depression: is more likely to persist into adulthood if gone untreated, but only half of children with pediatric major depression are diagnosed before adulthood. 

Substance Use: 4.08% of youth in the U.S. reported a substance use disorder in the past year. 1.64% had an alcohol use disorder in the past year, while 3.16% had an illicit drug use disorder.

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CALL 988 - COMING IN 2022

"In July 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designated 988 as the new three-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. This three-digit phone number was created to increase access to immediate crisis supports and provide a nationwide, easy-to-remember alternative to calling 911 for mental health crises.

Traditionally, when an in-person crisis response was necessary, law enforcement was dispatched to provide support. Mental health crisis calls may result in potentially dangerous and traumatizing outcomes when police are called, especially in historically marginalized communities.

According to a 2015 study, people with untreated mental illness are 16 times more likely to be killed in a police encounter than other civilians. Implementing 988 ensures that mental health crises can be met with a mental health response while resulting in substantial cost-savings and allowing for law enforcement resources to be saved for non-mental health-related emergencies.

A comprehensive 988 crisis system necessitates: training call staff to provide empowering, linguistically, and culturally appropriate supports to callers, ensuring the inclusion of appropriate care for subpopulations like LGBTQ+ individuals, making appropriate and accessible referrals, creating a system of mobile crisis teams that can be deployed to respond to individuals in crisis in place of law enforcement and offering crisis stabilization programs that connect people to a continuum of care when it is needed most.

By July of 2022, all telecommunications companies will have to make the necessary changes so calls to 988 will be directed to the current National Suicide Prevention Lifeline call centers. However, full implementation of 988 requires each state to submit its own legislation to fund and implement 988 infrastructure.


The current National Suicide Prevention Lifeline serves about 4 million callers each year. According to Vibrant Emotional Health, the administrator of the Lifeline, even in a low scenario with a minimal growth rate, it is estimated that 988 will be serving 13 million callers by the fifth year following implementation."

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ACCESS TO CARE

Over half (56%) of adults with a mental illness receive no treatment. 60.3% of youth with major depression do not receive any mental health treatment.

Over 27 million individuals experiencing a mental illness are going untreated.


Although adults who did not have insurance coverage were significantly less likely to receive treatment than those who did, 54% of people covered by health insurance still did not receive mental health treatment, indicating that ensuring coverage is not the same as ensuring access to mental health care.

Blockers to Treatment:

Almost a quarter (24.7%) of all adults with a mental illness reported that they were not able to receive the treatment they needed. This number has not declined since 2011.


Individuals reporting unmet need are those seeking treatment and facing barriers to getting the help they need, including: no insurance or limited coverage of services, shortfall in psychiatrists and an overall undersized mental health workforce, lack of available treatment types (inpatient treatment, individual therapy, intensive community services), disconnect between primary care systems and behavioral health systems, and insufficient finances to cover costs – including copays, uncovered treatment types, or when providers do not take insurance.

REFERENCES

Data was collected directly from Mental Health America (MHA). MHA the nation’s leading community-based nonprofit dedicated to addressing the needs of those living with mental illness and promoting the overall mental health of all.

Reinert, M, Fritze, D. & Nguyen, T. (October 2021). “The State of Mental Health in America 2022” Mental Health America, Alexandria VA.

Mullen, S. (2018). Major depressive disorder in children and adolescents. The Mental Health Clinician, 8(6):275-283. Doi: 10.9740/mhc.2018.11.275

Fuller, DA, Lamb, HR, Biasotti, M & Snook J. (2015). Overlooked in the Undercounted: The Role of Mental Illness in Fata Law Enforcement Encounters. Treatment Advocacy Center. https://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/overlooked-in-the-undercounted

Vibrant Emotional Health (2020). 988 Serviceable Populations and Contact Volume Projections. https://www.vibrant.org/wpcontent/uploads/2020/12/Vibrant-988-Projections-Report.pdf?_ga=2.62739180.1718066263.1611784352-1951259024.1604696443