Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) occurs annually during the first full week of October. Congress made MIAW official in 1990, and ever since then, professionals and advocates alike work to destigmatize mental illness by educating the public. Millions of Americans live with at least one mental health condition. Even those who do not live with mental illness are affected, either directly or indirectly through relatives, colleagues, or friends.
It’s important to recognize how common mental illness is, so we can understand its physical, social and financial impact — and so we can show that no one is going through it alone. These numbers are also powerful tools for increasing public awareness, reducing stigma, and advocating for better mental health care.
Fast Facts Provided by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
We hope these facts from NAMI will bring awareness and conversation around the topic of mental health.
1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year
1 in 20 U.S. adults experience serious mental illness each year
1 in 6 U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year
Annual prevalence of mental illness among U.S. adults, by demographic group:
Non-Hispanic Asian: 13.9%
Non-Hispanic white: 22.6%
Non-Hispanic Black or African American: 17.3%
Non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native: 18.7%
Non-Hispanic mixed/multiracial: 35.8%
Non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: 16.6%
Hispanic or Latino: 18.4%
Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual: 47.4
Annual prevalence among U.S. adults, by condition:
Major Depressive Episode: 8.4% (21 million people)
Schizophrenia: <1% (estimated 1.5 million people)
Bipolar Disorder: 2.8% (estimated 7 million people)
Anxiety Disorders: 19.1% (estimated 48 million people)
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: 3.6% (estimated 9 million people)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: 1.2% (estimated 3 million people)
Borderline Personality Disorder: 1.4% (estimated 3.5 million people)
46.2% of U.S. adults with mental illness received treatment in 2020
64.5% of U.S. adults with serious mental illness received treatment in 2020
The NAMI HelpLine is a free, nationwide peer-support service providing information, resource referrals, and support to people living with a mental health condition, their family members and caregivers, mental health providers and the public.