More than half of U.S. adults with mental illness are not getting help

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New research shows that 56 percent of American adults with a mental illness did not receive treatment. That rate is ever higher for young people.

More than 40 million Americans are dealing with a mental illness such as depression or anxiety, the nonprofit Mental Health America reported.

“[That’s] more than the populations of New York and Florida combined,” MHA points out.

Researchers also found more young people are suffering with mental illness. Rates of youth depression increased from 8.5 percent in 2011 to 11.1 percent in 2014.

“Even with severe depression, 80 percent of youth are left with no or insufficient treatment,” the report states.

The study found that more people have access to insurance but most Americans still lack access to care.

The report states that there is a serious shortage of mental health workers.

“In states with the lowest workforce, there’s only one mental health professional per 1,000 individuals. This includes psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, counselors, and psychiatric nurses combined,” the report states.

If the researchers are correct, the lack of access to treatment should be a concern to everyone, not just those who suffer with mental illness.

“Less access to care means more incarceration,” the report states. “Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama had the least access to care and highest rates of imprisonment. There are over 57,000 people with mental health conditions in prison and jail in those states alone.”