How Common is Mental Illness in the US?

About one in five Americans has a mental illness. That's about 60 million people, many of whom are not receiving treatment. The United States isn't too far off the world average in this area, however. According to the World Health Organization, one in four people will suffer from a mental illness at some time in their life.

More mental illness statistics:

  • Worldwide, about two-thirds of people who have a mental illness do not seek treatment. The main causes that people do not receive treatment for mental illness are the cost of healthcare, the fear of stigmatization and the fear of treatment being worse than the condition.

  • The most common mental illnesses are depression, schizophrenia and alcohol use disorder. Depression alone accounts for more than 150 million mental illness sufferers in the world, which is a little less than half of the people who have a mental illness.

  • Mental illness is more common than cancer, heart disease and diabetes, and it is the leading cause of disability in the U.S., Canada, and Western Europe.

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