1 in 25 adults experience a serious mental illness that interferes with or limits major life activities

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  • While mental disorders are common in the United States, the burden of illness is particularly concentrated among those who experience disability due to serious mental illness (SMI).
  • The data presented here are from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health  (NSDUH), which defines SMI as:
    • A mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder (excluding developmental and substance use disorders);
    • Diagnosable currently or within the past year;
    • Of sufficient duration to meet diagnostic criteria specified within the 4th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV); and,
    • Resulting in serious functional impairment, which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.
  • In 2014, there were an estimated 9.8 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States with SMI. This number represented 4.2% of all U.S. adults.

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