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Mental Health
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Chartbook on Mental Health and Disability

Section 1: Mental health and disability
Definitions and prevalence

Definitions and prevalence

Many studies have been conducted to determine how many people in the United States have mental disorders and disabilities due to a mental disorder. Estimates differ, depending on how the disorders and disabilities are defined and measured, and depending on which populations are included in the surveys. This section provides information on the prevalence of mental disorders, and presents results from several sources on the extent to which mental disorders contribute to disability. Approximately 20% of people in the United States experience mental disorders in a given year. Various measures of disability due to mental disorders, such as mental health disability, mental disability, severe mental illness, and serious mental illness, provide an understanding of the extent to which mental disorders contribute to limitations in daily activities and functioning of 3 to 7% of the population.

Topic Questions:

1.1. How many people have a mental disorder?

1.2. How many people have a mental health disability?

1.3. What types of disabilities are experienced by people with mental disorders?

1.4. How many people have a mental disability and what are their conditions and symptoms?

1.5. What percentage of the adult population has severe mental illness, and what disorders do they have?

1.6. How many people have a serious mental illness?