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SAMHSA Survey Reveals Trends in Mental Health

Tuesday, April 22, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Whitney Meyerhoeffer
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SAMHSA Survey Reveals Trends in Mental Health and Drug Use

Here are a few of the highlights of the annual report issued by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) on drug use and mental health:

  • In 2012, 34.1 million adults (14.5 percent of the population aged 18 or older) received mental health services (i.e., treatment or counseling) during the past 12 months. The number and the percentage were higher than those in 2011 (31.6 million persons and 13.6 percent).
  • Between 2002 and 2012, the percentage of adults using outpatient mental health services in the past year declined from 7.4 to 6.6 percent, and the percentage using prescription medication for a mental health problem increased from 10.5 to 12.4 percent.
  • The percentage of adults in 2012 with any mental illness (AMI) or a serious mental illness (SMI) in the past year was highest for adults:
    • Age 26 to 49 (AMI: 21.2 percent; SMI: 5.2 percent),
    • Age 18 to 25 (AMI: 19.6 percent; SMI: 4.1 percent),
    • Age 50 or older (AMI: 15.8 percent; SMI: 3.0 percent).
  • In 2012, an estimated 9.0 million adults (3.9 percent) aged 18 or older had serious thoughts of suicide in the past year. The estimated number and percentage remained stable between 2008 (8.3 million persons and 3.7 percent) and 2012.
  • Adults aged 18 or older with a past-year substance use disorder were more likely than those without dependence or abuse to have serious thoughts of suicide in the past year (12.6 vs. 3.0 percent). Adults with a substance use disorder also were more likely to make suicide plans compared with adults without dependence or abuse (3.9 vs. 0.9 percent) and were more likely to attempt suicide compared with adults without dependence or abuse (2.3 vs. 0.4 percent).
  • Among the 8.4 million adults aged 18 or older in 2012 who had AMI in the past year and a past-year substance use disorder, 46.3 percent received substance use treatment at a specialty facility or mental healthcare in the past year, including 7.9 percent who received both mental healthcare and specialty substance use treatment, 34.0 percent who received mental healthcare only, and 4.3 percent who received specialty substance-use treatment only.
  • In 2012, there were 2.2 million youths aged 12 to 17 (9.1 percent) who had a major depressive episode (MDE) during the past year.
  • The most common reason for youths receiving specialty mental-health services in 2012 was feeling depressed (50.7 percent).

Issued in Dec. 2013, the report presents mental health findings from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the annual survey of the civilian, non-institutionalized population of the United States, aged 12 years old or older.

The NSDUH “is the primary source of statistical information on the use of illegal drugs, alcohol, and tobacco by the civilian, non-institutionalized population of the United States aged 12 years or older,” according to the Introduction to the report. The survey also includes several modules of questions that focus on mental health issues.

Conducted by the federal government since 1971, the survey collects data through face-to-face interviews with a representative sample of the population at the respon-dent’s place of residence.

This report presents national estimates of the prevalence of past year mental disorders and past year mental health service utilization for youths aged 12 to 17 and adults aged 18 or older. Among adults, estimates presented include rates and numbers of persons with:

  • Any mental illness (AMI),
  • Serious mental illness (SMI),
  • Suicidal thoughts and behavior,
  • Major depressive episode (MDE),
  • Treatment for depression (among adults with MDE), and
  • Mental health service utilization.

Estimates presented in this report for youths include MDE, treatment for depression (among youths with MDE), and mental health service utilization. Measures related to the co-occurrence of mental disorders with substance use or with substance use disorders also are presented for both adults and youths.

The report focuses mainly on trends between 2011 and 2012 and differences across population subgroups in 2012. The 136-page report includes 37 figures and 7 tables, including the two reproduced here, above:

  • “Type of Professional Seen Among Adults Aged 18 or Older With a Major Depressive Episode Who Received Treatment in the Past Year: 2012” (SAMHSA Fig. 2.5), and
  • “Reasons for Not Receiving Mental Health Services in the Past Year among Adults Aged 18 or Older with an Unmet Need for Mental Healthcare Who Did Not Receive Mental Health Services: 2012” (SAMHSA Fig. 2.10).

Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), “Results from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings,” NSDUH Series H-47, HHS Publication No. (SMA) 13-4805. Rockville, MD: SAMHSA, 2013. 

Download a PDF of the full report.

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