Forty-five million adults – that’s a staggering 19.9 percent of Americans – had mental illness in a one-year period, according to the most recent large study from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).

The report, the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that nearly 11 million adults (4.8 percent of Americans) had serious mental illness. And only 60.2 percent of those diagnosed with a serious mental illness received treatment! That means over that over 4 million people with a serious mental illness did not.

Of particular concern is that 8.4 million adults, that’s 3.7 percent, had serious thoughts of suicide in at some point in the year the study was conducted (2008), with more women (3.9 percent) than men (3.5 percent), and young adults (6.0), the largest group.

In general women were far more likely to have mental illness (23.8 percent) than men (15.6 percent).

In a later post we’ll share¬†more figures from this study on drug/alcohol use and mental illness and our thoughts on the findings.