January 7, 2009

1 in 10 had serious psychological distress

A federal government report reveals that more than 1 in every 10 U.S. adults experienced serious psychological distress in the past year.

A report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration -- part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services -- said an estimated 24.3 million people ages 18 years or older experienced serious psychological distress in the past year, however, only 44.6 percent of them received any kind of mental health services.

Eric Broderick, SAMHSA acting administrator, said serious psychological distress is an overall indicator of past-year mental health problems such as anxiety and/or mood disorders.

As we focus on advancing and protecting the nation's health we must ensure mental health services are part of the solution, Broderick said in a statement

The report also said that:

-- The serious psychological distress rate was significantly higher among young adults ages 18 to 25 at 17.9 percent than among those ages 26 to 49 years old at 12.2 percent or those ages 50 years and older at 7 percent.

-- Young adults aged 18 to 25 experiencing serious psychological distress were far less likely to receive mental health services than their older counterparts.

-- Less than 30 percent of African-Americans and Hispanics experiencing these disorders received mental health services, compared to 50.9 percent of whites.