mental health


The big - on again off again - policy issue in mental health is parity; although a bill was passed in 1996 requiring equal coverage for mental health treatment, advocates say insurance companies still unfairly restrict services for the mentally ill.


Americans who suffer from a "diagnosable mental health disorder":

  • 22.1% of adults (44.3 million) (NIMH). Of those:
    • 18.8 million have a depressive disorder (9.5% of adults);
    • 2.3 million have bi-polar disorder (1.2%);
    • 2.2 million have schizophrenia (1.1%);
    • 19.1 million have an anxiety disorder.

Costs of mental illness (including lost productivity) (Surgeon General):

  • Direct costs: $99 billion (1996);
  • Indirect costs (including lost productivity): $79 billion.

Number of doctors visits for mental disorders (CDC):

  • 2001: 44.8 million (5.1% of all doctors visits);
  • 1997: 49.2 million.

Where the facts are from:

Did we miss something, let some slant slip in, lose a link - or do you just have something to say? Drop a line below! In the spirit of open dialogue, cJ asks you keep it civil, keep it real and keep it focused on the message, not the messenger. See our policy page for more on what that all means.

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