The “behavioral health” of Americans is improving, stated a press release from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, based on its new survey report the “National Behavioral Health Barometer.”
“The Barometer indicates that the behavioral health of our nation is improving in some areas, particularly among adolescents,” the press release stated. “For example, past month use of both illicit drugs and cigarettes has fallen for youth ages 12-17 from 2009 to 2013 (from 10.1 percent to 8.8 percent for illicit drugs and 9.0 percent to 5.6 percent for cigarettes). Past month binge drinking among children ages 12-17 has also fallen from 2009 to 2013 (from 8.9 percent to 6.2 percent).”
Another indicator that behavioral health was improving, stated the press release, was that more people have been getting mental health treatment. “The number of people receiving treatment for a substance use problem has increased six percent from 2009 to 2013. It also shows that the level of adults experiencing serious mental illness who received treatment rose from 62.9 percent in 2012 to 68.5 percent in 2013.” It was not clear from the report if these people were benefiting from the treatment or not. The number of people who were seriously mentally ill has also increased significantly.
The press release included links to the report. SAMHSA also released state-by-state data. Medscape examined the report in more detail.
SAMHSA’s new report tracks the behavioral health of America (SAMHSA press release, January 26, 2015)
More Americans Getting Mental Health Treatment (Medscape, January 27, 2015)