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Washington - One In Five Adults Suffering From Mental Illness


Washington - More than 45 million American adults--or 19.9% of the adult population--dealt with mental illness in the past year, and 1 million of them attempted suicide, according to a survey released Thursday.

The survey, conducted by a public health agency within the Department of Health and Human Services, also found that the weak labor market might be taking a toll on mental health.

More unemployed adults grappled with mental illness in the past year than adults with full-time jobs, survey results showed.

Also, more women than men experienced mental issues, and younger adults aged 18 to 25 had the highest level of mental illness. Adults aged 50 and older had the lowest level.

The survey found that nearly 20% of adults with mental illness in the past year also had a substance-abuse disorder.

While 1 million adults with mental illness attempted suicide, another 8.4 million had serious suicidal thoughts in the past year and 2.2 million actually made suicide plans.

Still, only about 38% of adults with mental illness in the past year received help or treatment.

"Too many Americans are not getting the help they need, and opportunities to prevent and intervene early are being missed," Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Administrator Pamela Hyde said. "The consequences for individuals, families and communities can be devastating. If left untreated mental illnesses can result in disability, substance abuse, suicides, lost productivity, and family discord."

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