Feeling like there’s a little more mental illness out there in America these days? You are correct.
And even worse news is that many are unable to get the services they desperately need.
Judith Weissman is a research manager in the department of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City and lead researcher of an evaluation of federal health data.
“Mental illness is on the rise. Suicide is on the rise. And access to care for the mentally ill is getting worse,” she said.
About 3.4 percent of the U.S. population — an estimated 8.3 million American adults — suffer from serious psychological distress Previous estimates put the number of Americans suffering from serious psychological distress at 3 percent or less, the researchers said.
Much of the distress, Weissman said, is an after-effect of the Great Recession that began in late 2007 and caused long-term emotional damage to many Americans.
Because of the Great Recession, more Americans needing psychological or psychiatric services have gone without.
“The recession seemed to have pushed the mentally ill to a point where they never recovered,” she said. “This is a very disturbing finding because of the implications of what mental illness can do to a person in terms of their ability to function and their life span.”
The study included national health data from a survey conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 35,000 households nationwide participate each year.
To read more on the study, click the CBS News story here.
“We need to increase access to care for the mentally ill,” Weissman told CBS. “We also need to put trained psychiatrists and mental health providers within the primary care setting.”