Mental health is defined as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”1 The burden of mental illness in the United States is among the highest of all chronic diseases, and mental disorders are among the most common causes of disability.2–4 Mental illness is associated with increased occurrence of other chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma, epilepsy, and cancer.5 Improving mental health nationwide is critical to improving the health of all Americans.
Suicide Rate by Sex, 2015
In 2015, females had a lower suicide rate than males. The rate for males was 3.5 times the rate for females.
Males: 21.1 per 100,000 population (age adjusted)
Females: 6.0 per 100,000 population (age adjusted)
Data sources: National Vital Statistics System–Mortality (NVSS–M), CDC/NCHS; and Bridged-race Population Estimates, CDC/NCHS and Census.
Most Recent: In 2015, there were 13.3 suicides per 100,000 population (age adjusted).
Healthy People 2020 Target: 10.2 suicides per 100,000 population (age adjusted)
23.3% decrease needed.
Data source: National Vital Statistics System–Mortality (NVSS–M), CDC/NCHS; and Bridged-race Population Estimates, CDC/NCHS and Census.
Major Depressive Episodes (MDE)
Most Recent: In 2015, 12.5% of adolescents aged 12–17 years had an MDE in the past 12 months.
Healthy People 2020 Target: 7.5%
40.0% decrease needed.
Data source: National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), SAMHSA.
- World Health Organization. Strengthening Mental Health Promotion. Fact sheet no. 220. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2001.
- Murray CJL, Lopez AD. The Global Burden of Disease: A Comprehensive Assessment of Mortality and Disability from Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors in 1990 and Projected to 2020. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 1996.
- World Health Organization. Promoting mental health: concepts, emerging evidence, practice (summary report). Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2004. Available at http://www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/en/promoting_mhh.pdf
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health; 1999.
- Chapman DP, Perry GS, Strine TW. The vital link between chronic disease and depressive disorders. Prev Chronic Dis 2005;2(1):A14.