Mental Health Statistics

When most people hear “MENTAL HEALTH” they tend to think of some of the worst-case scenarios for people. They think of depression, suicide or schizophrenia. They picture people being violent, people not functioning or recent celebrity breakdowns. But mental health is more than having a mental illness. Mental health is something everyone has. It’s dealing with things like death, divorce, break-ups, lack of sleep, pressure, stress and substance abuse. Here is what you need to know about mental health:

Each Year

  • 20-25% of young people will suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder
  • 19% of young people will contemplate or attempt suicide.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 15-19 and is the second leading cause of death among college students.
  • Over 66% of young people with a substance abuse disorder have a co-occuring mental health problem
  • 4 out of 5 young adults that contemplate or attempt suicide exhibit clear warning signs
  • 80-90% of people that seek mental health treatment see improvement in their symptoms
  • Stereotypes are the largest barrier preventing 66% of young adult people from seeking help


MYTH: Teenagers don’t suffer from “real” mental health issues – they are just moody.
FACT: 1 in 4 teens has some type of mental health problem in a given year.
-National Institute of Mental Health: Harvard University Study: June 2005

MYTH: Mental illness is not real and cannot be treated.
FACT: Mental disorders are as easy to diagnose as asthma, diabetes, and cancer with a range of effective treatments for most conditions.
-Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health

MYTH: Children are too young to get depressed; it must be something else.
FACT: More than 2 million children suffer from depression in the United States and more than half of them go untreated.
-US Center for Mental Health Services

MYTH: Troubled youth just need more discipline.
FACT: Almost 70% of young adults in juvenile justice facilities have a serious emotional disturbance and most have a diagnosable mental disorder.
-National Institute of Mental Health

MYTH: Talk about suicide is an idle threat that doesn’t need to be taken seriously.
FACT: Suicide is the second leading cause of death among high schools and college students. Talk about suicide should always be taken seriously.
-Jed Foundation

Warning Signs

    The following feelings and experiences are warning signs that someone needs to seek help:

  • finding little or no pleasure in life
  • feeling worthless or extremely guilty
  • crying a lot for no particular reason
  • withdrawing from other people
  • experiencing severe anxiety, panic or fear
  • having very low energy
  • losing interest in hobbies and pleasurable activities
  • having too much energy, having trouble concentrating or following through on plans
  • feeling easily irritated or angry
  • experiencing racing thoughts or agitation
  • hearing voices or seeing images that other people do not experience
  • believing that others are plotting against you
  • wanting to harm yourself or someone else