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National Survey on Drug Use and Health
Spotlight
July 14, 2016
One-Third of Young Adults with Any Mental Illness Received Mental Health Services in the Past Year
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Mental health service use among young adults aged 18 to 25 with any mental illness: 2014

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According to data from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, among adults with any mental illness (AMI),1 young adults aged 18 to 25 are less likely to receive mental health services than adults aged 26 to 49 or adults aged 50 or older (33.6 vs. 44.2 or 49.9 percent, respectively).

In 2014, about 2.4 million, or 33.6 percent, of young adults with AMI received mental health services such as inpatient services, outpatient services, or prescription medication in the past year. This means that about two-thirds (66.4 percent) of young adults with AMI are not receiving potentially needed mental health services. Of young adults with AMI, about 1 in 4 received prescription medication (25.5 percent) and 1 in 5 received outpatient services (21.3 percent). In the past year, 3.7 percent of young adults with AMI received inpatient services.  

Because young adults with AMI are less likely to receive services than adults in other age groups, young adults may benefit from developmentally appropriate services to facilitate the transition to adulthood.Young adults with AMI may want to talk to a mental health care professional to find out what type of services would best meet their needs. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides resources for those seeking mental health care services. For information on accessing treatment, please visit https://findtreatment.samhsa.gov.

  1. Any mental illness (AMI) is defined as having a diagnosable mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder, other than a developmental or substance use disorder.
  2. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2015). Tables 1.22A and 1.22B. In 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed tables. Retrieved from http://www.samhsa.gov/data/
  3. Miller, S., Ringeisen, H., Munoz, B., Hedden, S. L., Colpe, L. J., Rohloff, H., & Embry, V. (2016). Correlates of mental health service use among young adults with mental illness: Results from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Psychiatric Services. Advance online publication. doi:10.1176/appi.ps.201400486