Data and Publications

Problems with mental health are very common in the United States, with an estimated 50% of all Americans diagnosed with a mental illness or disorder at some point in their lifetime. Mental illnesses, such as depression, are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the United States for those aged 18-44 years old1,2, and adults living with serious mental illness die on average 25 years earlier than others. The reports and other products in this section can serve as resources to public health officials and other health professionals who need up-to-date statistics and data sources around mental health and mental illness. However, these lists of reports and data tools are not exhaustive.

Public Health Data Systems that Provide Mental Health Information
  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)BRFSS collects information on health risk behaviors, preventative practices, and healthcare access. Questions include recent mentally unhealthy days, anxiety and depressive disorders, mental illness and stigma, and psychological distress.
  • National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)NHANES assesses health and nutritional status through interviews and physical examinations. Collected data cover a number of conditions, including depression and anxiety, symptoms of conditions, concerns associated with mental health and substance abuse, and mental health service use and need.
  • National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)NHIS collects data on both adult and children’s mental health and mental disorders. For adults, this includes serious psychological distress and feelings of depression and anxiety.  For children, this includes the presence of  attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and autism spectrum disorder.  The NHIS also examines mental health service use and whether individuals have unmet mental health needs. Questions about recent anxiety or frequent stress have been included in previous years.
  • National Ambulatory Medical Care SurveyNAMCS collects data on visits to nonfederally employed office-based physicians who are primarily engaged in direct patient care and, starting in 2006, a separate sample of visits to community health centers.  Data are collected on type of provider, medications, primary diagnoses and presence of long-lasting conditions.
  • National Hospital Care Survey (NHCS)NHCS allows examination of care provided across treatment settings. Data cover physicians' diagnoses, services and procedures, types of healthcare professionals seen, hospital characteristics, discharge diagnoses, surgical and diagnostic procedures, and prescriptions for ambulatory visits.
  • National Study of Long-Term Care Providers (NSLTCP)NSLTCP monitors trends in the supply, provision, and use of the major sectors of paid, regulated long-term care services. Data cover mental illness, depression, and service use.
  • National Survey of the Diagnosis and Treatment of ADHD and Tourette Syndrome (NS-DATA)NS-DATA collects information about children 2 to 15 years old in 2011-2012 who had ever been diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and/or Tourette syndrome (TS) with the goal of better understanding diagnostic practices, level of impairment, and treatments for this group of children.
  • National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS)NVDRS collects data from medical examiners, coroners, police, crime labs, and death certificates to understand the circumstances surrounding violent deaths, including suicide. NVDRS can also provide details on the circumstances that may have led to violent deaths, including mental illness and mental disorders.
  • Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS)PRAMS collects data on maternal attitudes and experiences before, during, and after pregnancy. Surveillance research includes the prevalence of self-reported postpartum depression and anxiety symptoms.
  • School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS)SHPPS is a national survey assessing school health policies and practices at the state, district, school, and classroom levels. Collected data includes mental health and social service policies.
  • WISQARS™CDC’s WISQARS (Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System) is an interactive database system that provides customized reports of injury-related data, such as intentional self-harm including suicide.
  • Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS)The YRBSS monitors health-risk behaviors including tobacco use, substance abuse, unintentional injuries and violence, sexual behaviors that contribute to unintended pregnancy and STDs.
  • National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH)NSCH examines the health of children including those with special needs with an emphasis on well-being, such as medical homes, family interactions, parental health, school and after-school experiences, and safe neighborhoods. The survey also collects information on the presence of a mental or behavioral problem.
References
  1. Parks J. et al. Morbidity and Mortality in People with Serious Mental Illnessexternal icon. National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors Medical Directors Council. Alexandria, VA; 2006.
  2. Kessler RC, et al. Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of mental disorders in the World Health Organization’s World Mental Health Survey Initiative. World Psychiatry. 2007;6(3):168-176.
Page last reviewed: January 26, 2018