Facts about Mental Health Conditions
Below are some commonly accepted facts about mental illness. There are currently over 100 drugs in development for these conditions. There is hope that the medications in development will more effectively treat the symptoms of mental illness with fewer side effects. For more information, please e-mail
- In a one-year period, up to 50 million Americans, more than 22 percent of the population, suffer from a clearly diagnosable mental health condition involving some degree of impairment.
- About 27% of those who seek medical care for physical problems actually suffer from a mental health condition.
- Although mental health conditions are treatable, only 20% of individuals seek help.
- Mental health conditions rank #1 in terms of causing disability in the United States. This translates to more disabilities than ALL other diseases including cancer and heart disease.
- Mental health conditions account for 25% of all disabilities.
- Mental health conditions fill more hospital beds than cancer, lung and heart disease combined and is the #1 reason for an individual to occupy a hospital bed.
- The cost of mental illness to society, including lost productivity, absenteeism, and substance abuse, exceeds $180 billion a year.
- Recent research indicates severe mental illness such as schizophrenia and manic depression (bipolar disorder) are biochemically caused brain diseases. Approximately 1/4 of all Social Security Disability payments are for individuals with a severe mental illness.
- Some well-known people who suffered from severe mental illness are Abraham Lincoln, Beethoven, Thelonious Monk, Van Gogh, Issac Newton, Winston-Churchill, & Michelangelo.
- Despite media focus on the exceptions, individuals receiving treatment for schizophrenia are no more prone to violence than the general public. Unfortunately, almost one-third of all U.S. jails incarcerate people with severe mental illnesses who have no charges against them, but are merely waiting for psychiatric evaluation or the availability of a psychiatric hospital bed. Today, roughly 283,000 people with severe mental illnesses are incarcerated in jails and prisons, mostly for crimes they committed because they were not being treated for their illness.
- Contrary to media focus, individuals with mental illness are no more prone to violence than the general public, and in fact, are more likely to be the victims of violence than the perpetrators.