(HealthDay News) – In 2011, nearly one in five adults in the United States reported any mental illness (AMI), and one in twenty suffered from serious mental illness (SMI), according to a Nov. 29 report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Researchers from SAMHSA, located in Rockville, MD, investigated trends in mental health using data from the 2011 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Mental Health Findings report. Data were collected from approximately 65,750 individuals aged ≥12 years.

The authors note that an estimated 45.6 million adults in the United States had AMI in 2011, representing 19.6%, an estimate which has remained stable since 2008. Five percent of U.S. adults had SMI in the past year, similar to estimates since 2009. Women were more likely than men to have AMI in the past year. Compared to those without mental illness, more adults with AMI had substance use disorders in the past year; this was particularly so for those with SMI. An estimated 3.7% of adults had serious thoughts of suicide; 1% made suicide plans; and 1.1 million attempted suicide. In 2011, 13.6% of the overall adult population received mental health services, unchanged from 2010. Among youth, depression was the most common reason for using mental health services, with 8.2% of 12- to 17-year-olds having major depressive episodes (MDEs). Youth with MDEs in the past year were more likely to use illicit drugs and have a substance use disorder.

“Like other medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes, the key to recovery is identifying the problem and taking active measures to treat it as soon as possible,” Pamela S. Hyde, JD, a SAMHSA administrator, said in a statement.

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