1 in 5 U.S. Adults Dealt With a Mental Illness in 2013

new article illustration

THURSDAY, Nov. 20, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly one in five American adults -- 43.8 million people -- had a diagnosable mental illness in 2013, federal officials reported Thursday.

The report also found that 10 million adults had a serious mental illness, 15.7 million had major depressive episodes, 9.3 million had serious thoughts of suicide, 2.7 million made suicide plans and 1.3 million attempted suicide.

The findings were similar to those in 2012, the report from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration said.

The review, based on the agency's annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health, also found that 2.6 million (about 10 percent) of children aged 12 to 17 suffered major depressive episodes in 2013, but only about 38 percent received treatment for depression.

In 2013, about 34.6 million adults (14.6 percent) received mental health care, including inpatient or outpatient care or prescription medicines. That rate was comparable to 2012, but higher than the rates in 2002 to 2011, which ranged from 12.8 percent to 13.8 percent, according to the report.

"It is a serious issue that millions of Americans are needlessly affected by mental illness when they can get effective treatment to restore their well-being," SAMHSA Administrator Pamela Hyde said in an agency news release.

"Now more than ever, people can get the help they need to recover from mental disorders and live full, active lives -- they just need to take the first step and seek help," she added.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about mental illness.