SAMHSA’s 2015 Barometer tracks the behavioral health of America

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) most recent National Behavioral Health Barometer report (Barometer) highlights many important trends in Americans’ behavioral health throughout the nation.

The 2015 Barometer findings cover key behavioral healthcare issues affecting American communities including the prevalence rates of youth and adult substance use, serious mental illness, suicidal thoughts, and people seeking treatment for these disorders.   The Barometer shows this data at the national level, and for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The Barometer also includes analyses using several demographic categories such as gender, age, income level, health insurance status and race/ethnicity.  These data representations can help decision makers identify behavioral health differences among these groups.  Information such as this can assist in developing programs to address potential health disparities.

Results from this 2015 Barometer suggest the behavioral health of our nation is improving, particularly among adolescents.  For example, indicators measuring trends in past month nonmedical pain reliever use, binge drinking and cigarette usage suggest a decrease among adolescents from 2002 to 2014.

The Barometer reports no change in the level of adults seeking treatment for serious mental illness, which remained constant in 2013 and 2014.

For comparative purposes, the Barometer also includes trend comparable data from several national surveys and provides insight on the current status of behavioral health nationally and by state.  The findings can assist policy makers and public health providers in targeting programs and interventions as a means to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities.

“The Barometer provides everyone with a better understanding of the nation's behavioral healthcare landscape and the particular needs of many communities” SAMHSA’s Acting Administrator, Kana Enomoto.

To view and download copies of the national or any state Behavioral Health Barometer, please visit URL. http://www.samhsa.gov/data/browse-report-document-type?tab=46

For more information, contact the SAMHSA Press Office at 240-276-2130.


The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.

Last Updated: 01/26/2016