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The Mental Health Crisis in the United States   

Nick Goldberg

Authored by Nick Goldberg

The State of Mental Health in America

Both before and since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans have been struggling with mental health disorders and other related issues. From anxiety, depression, addiction, suicidality and more, the numbers of those affected—and without treatment—are soaring.

Mental Health America (MHA), in their 2022 report of mental health trends in the Unites States during 2019—that is, prior to the pandemic—revealed the extent to which Americans experienced mental health problems. Some key findings of the report show that

  • Just under 20% of the adult population in the U.S.—nearly 50 million people—struggled with mental illness
  • Suicidal thoughts continued to increase incrementally as they had every year since 2011-2022, jumping by 664,000 people compared to the previous year, and thus affecting 4.58% of the adult population
  • Nearly 25% of adults report an untreated mental illness
  • Over 15% of American youth struggled with depression over the last year.

And yet:

  • More than 60% of this youth population do not receive any mental health treatment
  • More than half of struggling adults (exceeding 27 million people) do not receive treatment either.

As bad as the state of mental health in America was prior to the pandemic, it has only gotten gravely worse. Between the isolation, alienation, stress, uncertainty and economic hardship, among other now painfully familiar factors, no one was untouched by the psychological impact of the pandemic and many were pushed to the breaking point.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the first year of the pandemic witnessed a massive increase in mental health disorders—anxiety and depression chief among them. Within the first year alone, there was a 25% increase in the number of people dealing with anxiety and depression. Even worse, youth depression and anxiety likely doubled globally since the pandemic. And among those aged 15-24 in the U.S., suicide became the third-leading cause of death, with nearly 20% of high school students also reporting suicidal thoughts and 9% having made an attempt on their own lives.

During this period, alcohol-related deaths reached unprecedented heights, rising 25% between 2019 and 2020, compared to the average increase of 3.6% per year between 1999 and 2019. At the same time, the opioid crisis devolved to a greater degree of tragedy, as the CDC report revealed that fentanyl overdoses had become the number one cause of death in the U.S. for adults ages 18-45.

How Recovery Centers of America Helps Counteract the Mental Health Crisis

As dreary as these circumstances are, it doesn’t have to be this way. There is hope, and a healthy way out is available now. 

Defined by its mission of saving one million lives from mental illness and addiction, Recovery Centers of America has long established itself as a leading provider of drug and alcohol addiction treatment. Combining expertise with compassion, RCA provides a full continuum care, standing with our patients and their families, for a lifetime of recovery.

As part of our comprehensive, holistic approach, we have always attended to the addiction—not in isolation but in the broader context of an individual’s mental health as a whole. This includes a dedicated treatment program, addressing the co-occurrence of substance use and mental health disorders together. And now, we are proud to offer a full range of mental health treatment programs in addition to our addiction treatment.

Identifying the source, symptom and contributor of mental health disorders, as we do for substance use disorders, Recovery Centers of America offers outpatient mental health treatment for a variety of mental health conditions, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Bipolar
  • Stress, trauma and PTSD
  • Personality disorders (e.g. borderline)
  • Eating disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Anger management

Experienced therapists employ an integrative treatment approach, in both group and individual settings, offering insight, coping skills, and the ability to manage thoughts, emotions and behaviors. Additionally, individual psychiatric evaluation, nurse navigation, medication management and PGX testing will establish an effective route to individual mental health treatment.

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use or mental health, call 1-800-RECOVERY now. We offer 24/7 admissions, transportation, and intervention services.

Authored by

Nick Goldberg

Nick Goldberg

As a healthcare writer for RCA and a recovery advocate, Nick Goldberg covers all aspects of addiction and treatment. Nick holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Johns Hopkins University.
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