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Mental Illness Statistics

Mental Illness and Suicide:

  • Mental health diagnoses are generally associated with a higher rate of suicide. Psychological autopsy studies reflect that more than 90% of completed suicides had one or more mental disorders.
  • Those with the following diagnoses are at particular risk: depression, schizophrenia, drug and/or chemical dependency and conduct disorders (in adolescence).
  • There is a relationship between depression and suicide; the risk of suicide is increased by more than 50 percent in depressed individuals. Aggregated research findings suggest that about 60 percent of suicides were depressed.
  • There is a relationship between alcoholism and suicide; the risk of suicide in alcoholics is 50 to 70 percent higher than the general population.
  • Feelings of hopelessness (e.g., there is no solution to my problem) are found to be more predictive of suicide risk than a diagnosis of depression per se.
  • Socially isolated individuals are generally found to be at a higher risk for suicide.
  • The vast majority of individuals who are suicidal often display cues and warning signs.


To find more statistics about mental illness, the web sites below offer comprehensive information:

National Institute of Mental Health: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/statistics/index.shtml

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry:

Centers for Disease Control: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/mental.htm

World Health Organization: Gender and women's mental health: http://www.who.int/mental_health/prevention/genderwomen/en/

World Health Organization: Disorders management: http://www.who.int/mental_health/management/en/

Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration: http://www.samhsa.gov/


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