Skip to main menu Skip to content
10 Surprising Mental Health Statistics From 2020

Mental health and substance use challenges look different for each person affected. No challenge or diagnosis is exactly the same, and some mental health challenges can be difficult to recognize. It can be easy to generalize or make assumptions, but realities vary, and these challenges can impact more than you may think.

Studies show that mental health in the United States is worsening among all age groups. While this is because of a number of factors, one fact stands out: Many people are not receiving the treatment they deserve. Stigma around mental health and lack of access to care are driving many people away from getting the care they need.

Over the years, a great deal of work has started to reduce the stigma of mental health and there’s been progress in making these conversations feel “normal.” Today, as COVID-19 has impacted all of us in different ways, discussions around mental health are becoming increasingly common, and more people are reaching out for help.

Check out these statistics to better understand what mental health and substance use challenges look like in 2020:

  1. In late June, 40% of U.S. adults reported struggling with mental health or substance use.
  2. One in six U.S. youth aged 6-17 experience a mental health disorder each year.
  3. Half of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24.
  4. Depression alone costs the nation about $210.5 billion annually.
  5. The average delay between onset of mental illness symptoms and treatment is 11 years.
  6. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among people aged 10-34 in the U.S. and the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.
  7. Many people suffer from more than one mental disorder at a given time. In particular, depressive illnesses tend to co-occur with substance abuse and anxiety disorders.
  8. More than 70% of youth in the juvenile justice system have a diagnosed mental illness.
  9. Transgender adults are nearly 12 times more likely to attempt suicide than the general population.
  10. The most common mental illnesses in the U.S. are anxiety disorders, which affect 40 million adults (18.1% of the population).

Mental health and substance use challenges affect everyone differently, and recognizing when to get help yourself or offer support to someone else is an important step in changing these statistics for the better.

You can help. Get trained in Mental Health First Aid today. As a trained First Aider, you will be able to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders in your community. You can #BeTheDifference.


Get the latest MHFA blogs, news and updates delivered directly to your inbox so you never miss a post.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.