Prevalence of serious mental illness

Although the prevalence of having any mental illness is 18.3% in the past year in the U.S., the prevalence of having​ a serious mental illness (SMI) is lower at 4.2%. These disorders generally include schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other mental disorders with suicidal ideation (yet there is no agreed upon definition of SMI). The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) defines SMI as “mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder resulting in serious functional impairment, which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities. The burden of mental illnesses is particularly concentrated among those who experience disability due to SMI.” More information can be found at the NIMH “Help for Mental Illnesses” site.

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