Recently a local politician lobbied for improved mental health coverage by noting that 1 in 18 adults has a mental illness. The local paper was skeptical. They checked it out, though, and agreed that this figure is likely correct. Now I know I run in mental illness circles, but 1 in 18 seems super low to me, between 5 and 6 percent. Heck, studies estimate OCD rates of 2-3 percent.
And it seems that whenever mental illness comes up, every person I talk to has at least one person in their fairly close family who deals with one.
Wikipedia (maybe not the best source, but surely not the worst) tells me that in large-scale surveys, around 25 percent of Americans met the criteria for a mental disorder over the prior 12 months.
I could not bring myself to read many of the comments made about the online article in my local paper, since they skewed toward "yeah, people just want the government to support them." Americans seems to swing back and forth between, "lock 'em all up" and "don't give 'em a dime." Good times.
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