Mental Health is a Major Problem in Almost All Communities

mental health

Addiction, anxiety, depression, and the many other mental health conditions which currently plague countless Americans, seriously affect the sufferers and their families, due to the lack of treatment facilities and necessary support.

New Research

Omaha healthcare market research consulting firm, PRC has recently published its research report on the subject. – This puts the spotlight on the far-flung, indiscriminate consequences of the country’s mental health dilemma, as more and more individuals of all age groups (from children to seniors), admit to having chronic mental health issues. The VP of Community Health at PRC, Bruce Lockwood, stated: “There is a growing and widespread recognition of mental health as a problem in communities across the country. In fact, in looking at 100 past community health needs assessments (CHNA) that PRC has worked with, mental health was consistently in the Top 3 priorities”.

Over the course of 25 years, PRC has conducted health needs assessments in more than 500 distinct communities. PRC’s Director of Community Health, Jana Distefano, notes: “Mental health is a major problem in nearly every community and is an often-underserved need. Many communities do not have adequate psychiatrists, counselors, inpatient facilities, etc., to support the need in the community. This becomes increasingly clear as youth suicide and school violence demonstrate gaps in mental healthcare for adolescents”.

Depression Statistics

The PRC National Health Survey indicates that: “31.4% of US adults describe having two or more years in their lives when they felt sad or depressed on most days, displaying symptoms of chronic depression” [1]. In 1995, this was just 22.1%. In addition to this, there is an especially severe, negative associate with individuals’ incomes: with 50.5% of the percentage living below federal poverty level.

In total, a massive 21.6% of American adults have received a depressive disorder diagnosis. This includes various conditions including: dysthymia, minor depression and major depression [1]. When it comes to those with chronic depression symptoms, this percentage rockets up to 77.6% among patients who actively asked for help, which is in stark contrast to the 16.5% of those who did nothing to ameliorate their condition.

Stress Statistics


From 2005, the percentage of US American adults evaluating a typical day in their life as: very, or extremely stressful, has escalated from 8.5% then to 13.4% now. When taking a close look at the different categories of their employment status: the self-employed, home-makers, and people not able to work, ranked as having particularly daily high stress levels. Other stressors incorporate: facing food insecurity; difficulty finding fresh produce; trouble accessing healthcare; being a violent crime victim over the past 5 years; and being anxious about paying the mortgage/rent.


Finding Help


With stressful and depressed symptoms on the increase, help-seeking behaviors are fortunately, becoming more common. This is partly due to less social stigma about mental health, and less access to help barriers. Indeed, 30.8%, (3 in10) Americans have, at some time during their lives, consulted a professional about an emotional or mental health issue.